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Hertz Falls 11% on Sluggish Industry Trends, Cuts 2016 View

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. HTZ, a leading car rental company, plunged nearly 11% yesterday after the company slashed its U.S. car rental (U.S. RAC) revenue forecast for the first quarter and full-year 2016. The company now anticipates lower-than-expected adjusted earnings per share the first quarter of 2016.

Hertz, which is the largest general use car rental company, is on track for the planned separation of its equipment rental business by mid-2016. The company identified sluggish demand as well as lower pricing and excess industry capacity as the main factors behind the dreary outlook. The company notes that the weak pricing trends of late 2015 continued to worsen in the first quarter of 2016, in turn, dragging results.

However, the company expects the prevailing overcapacity in the industry to normalize with seasonal demand improving and turning around the weak pricing trends. This will ultimately position the company well for the peak summer season.

Coming to the numbers, Hertz anticipates U.S. RAC revenue per available car day for first-quarter 2016 to be in the range of 2.5–3.5% year over year on the back of a low single-digit growth in transaction days.

Further, for the full year, the company projects revenues for its U.S. car rental segment to be flat or down 1.5% as against the previous forecast of a year over year growth of 1.5–2.5%. Also, the company expects U.S. RAC transaction day to witness only modest growth in 2016 due to its on-airport business. However, the company reiterated its adjusted Corporate EBITDA for 2016 in the $1.6–$1.7 billion range.

Also, Hertz expects earnings per share in the range of 95 cents to $1.10. Earnings guidance for the full year is based on expected shares outstanding of 424 million and effective tax rate of 37%. Additionally, the company expects incremental savings of $350 million in 2016.

Hertz’s lowered view did not surprise many as industry pressures from weak pricing trends and excess capacity were already evident from rival Avis Budget Group Inc.’s CAR guidance of flat pricing throughout 2016. Nevertheless, the aforementioned news hit the shares of Avis Budget by nearly 8%.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Hertz currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Vectrus Inc. VEC and PRGX Global Inc. PRGX, both holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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AVIS BUDGET GRP (CAR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HERTZ GLBL HLDG (HTZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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VECTRUS INC (VEC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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