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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 20, 2014
12:02 EDTCAR, HTZHertz drops after withdrawing full year guidance, analyst downgrades
Shares of car rental firm Hertz (HTZ) are sinking after the company withdrew its fiscal 2014 outlook and received several analyst downgrades. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Hertz said it expects its FY14 results to be "well below" the low end of its prior view. On May 13, the company forecast FY14 adjusted EPS of $1.70-$2.00, versus consensus of $1.86. FY14 revenue was seen at $11.4B-$11.7B, compared to consensus $11.52B. FY14 corporate EBITDA was expected to be $2.06B-$2.42B, with FY14 free cash flow of $550M-$650M. WHAT'S NOTABLE: To explain the revised outlook, Hertz cited ongoing operational challenges in the rental car and equipment segments, as well as the associated costs related to the accounting review previously disclosed. These ongoing challenges include: Record level, industry-wide OEM vehicle recall activity, which has constrained the company’s U.S. fleet available for rent; Significantly higher-than-expected adjusted direct operating expense in U.S. rental car; Issues and delays associated with the installation of its Enterprise Resource Planning and counter systems, which have adversely impacted anticipated synergy capture flowing from the Dollar Thrifty acquisition; and Continued soft demand in the equipment rental business segment. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, JP Morgan downgraded Hertz to Neutral from Overweight citing reduced confidence that the company's issues will be resolved in the near-term after it withdrew its full year forecast. The firm believes the wealth of bad news in the company's 8-K filing will prove to be a capitulation point for many bulls. The firm cut its price target on the shares to $25 from $32. Deutsche Bank also downgraded Hertz, revising its rating to Hold from Buy after the company withdrew is forecast for the year. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Hertz dropped $3.00, or about 9.5%, to $28.56 on nearly seven times its average daily trading volume. Despite today's pull back, the stock is up approximately 14% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Hertz' main competitor in the car rental space, Avis Budget Group (CAR), was up 0.3% in trading today.
News For HTZ;CAR From The Last 14 Days
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February 3, 2016
11:01 EDTCARAvis Budget, American Airlines extend preferred partnership agreement
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January 26, 2016
12:16 EDTCAROn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory moved cautiously in the opening segment, before shooting higher following the better than expected consumer confidence reading. The Dow is the biggest winner and is up more than 1.5% while the Nasdaq has been lagging but is up more than 0.6%. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index fell 2.35% while China's Shanghai composite slid 6.4%. COMPANY NEWS: The volume of earnings reports took a step up, with four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posting results before the opening bell this morning. All four advanced on the heels of their reports, with 3M (MMM) leading the pack with a gain of 4.5% despite earnings, excluding restructuring charges, that missed the consensus forecast. The industrial conglomerate did, however, affirm its performance expectations for the new fiscal year. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 3%, Procter & Gamble (PG) gained 2.7% and DuPont (DD) added 1.6%... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over next two years and announcing that it has agreed to sell AIG Advisor Group to private equity firm Lightyear Capital and Canadian pension investment manager PSP Investments. AIG also said it will pursue an initial public offering of United Guaranty in mid-2016 to sell up to 19.9% of the outstanding shares as a first step towards a full separation. However, the insurer said it believes a full breakup, as espoused by investor Carl Icahn, would detract from shareholder value, arguing that a lack of diversification benefits would reduce capital available for distribution and there would be a loss of tax benefits. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Avis Budget (CAR), which rallied 7% after the company raised its share repurchase authorization by $300M and after SRS Investment reported a 9.5% stake in the company. Also higher were Sprint (S) and Coach (COH), which gained 20% and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, FirstMerit (FMER) rose 16% after reporting quarterly earnings and announcing that it will merge with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) in a deal valued at $3.4B. Huntington Bancshares fell 10% after the FirstMerit merger agreement was announced. Also lower was Stratasys (SSYS), which dropped 6% after JPMorgan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight. In addition, Polaris (PII) and Waters Corporation (WAT) were down 11% and 4.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 273.66, or 1.72%, to 16,158.88, the Nasdaq was up 49.20, or 1.09%, to 4,567.69, and the S&P 500 was up 25.96, or 1.38%, to 1,903.04.
January 25, 2016
17:24 EDTCARSRS Investment reports 9.5% stake in Avis Budget, will continue talks
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16:52 EDTCARAvis Budget raises share repurchase authorization by $300M
The increase in the company's share repurchase authorization is the fourth since the company launched its buyback program in August 2013. Through September 30, 2015, the company bought back more than $625M of stock under the program, including $277M of stock repurchased in the first nine months of 2015. As a result, in just over two years the company reduced its outstanding shares by more than 13M shares, or 12%. The remaining buyback authorization at September 30, 2015 was $258M, and the company continued to repurchase shares in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
16:47 EDTCARAvis Budget announces agreement with SRS Investment Management
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16:46 EDTCARAvis Budget raises share repurchase authorization by $300M

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