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Why Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. Stock Dropped Today

What happened

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) were plunging today on an analyst downgrade that commented on a number of headwinds in the industry.

As of 11:35 a.m. EDT, the stock was down 15.9%.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Barclays slashed its rating on Hertz from equal weight to underweight, and put a price target of $9 on the car-rental company, more than 50% below its current price.

Hertz shares have run up over the past month, but Barclays is expecting a weak earnings report next week due to pressure from low used-car prices and weak rental-car pricing, due in part from competition from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.

Carmakers like General Motors have also cut back on sales to rental companies, to focus on higher-margin sales of trucks and other vehicles to the consumer market.

Now what

Shares of Hertz are down by nearly 90% over the last three years as the car-rental industry, which has always struggled, has come under considerable pressure. Rival Avis Budget Group, meanwhile, is down nearly 50% over that time span. With that track record and the shifting industry dynamics, a comeback for Hertz seems unlikely. Hertz has badly missed earnings estimates in its last three earnings reports, and analysts are expecting a loss of $0.12, down from $0.41, when it reports next week.

While Hertz could overcome that low bar, the long-term picture looks decidedly negative.

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Jeremy Bowman owns shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.