Avis Budget Group (CAR) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, January 23rd.

According to Zacks, “Avis Budget intends to aggressively increase the number of company-operated locations in fast-growing markets. Fundamental drivers such as sustained productivity growth, pricing initiatives and potential revenue-generating synergies from its various acquisitions bode well for the future. Projected strong travel trends for both leisure and commercial travelers and sustained expansion of these trends are likely to enhance its operational foothold in global markets through Avis Budget’s various acquisitions and collaborations. It outperformed the industry in the last three months. However, Avis Budget continues to face hurdles like high fleet costs and stiff competition from other players in the market, mainly on grounds of pricing. The company faces the risk of losing rental volumes if it is unable to match up to industry pricing standards. Volatility in market demand, foreign currency risks and dependence on third-parties remain headwinds.”

CAR has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on Avis Budget Group from $49.00 to $48.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Barclays upped their price objective on Avis Budget Group from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. TheStreet raised Avis Budget Group from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. MKM Partners upped their target price on Avis Budget Group from $36.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Avis Budget Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Avis Budget Group currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $37.30.

Shares of Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) traded down $1.39 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $38.73. The company had a trading volume of 5,539,161 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,110,000. Avis Budget Group has a 52-week low of $20.71 and a 52-week high of $49.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,150.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.69 and a beta of 2.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 35.24, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 1.28.

In other news, Chairman Ronald L. Nelson sold 275,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.22, for a total value of $11,060,500.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 473,214 shares in the company, valued at $19,032,667.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Srs Investment Management, Llc acquired 3,500,000 shares of Avis Budget Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $40.56 per share, for a total transaction of $141,960,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 463,750 shares of company stock worth $18,702,638 in the last three months. 2.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of CAR. Crow Point Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group in the third quarter valued at $107,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in Avis Budget Group during the third quarter worth about $160,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Avis Budget Group during the fourth quarter worth about $171,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its position in Avis Budget Group by 1,413.3% during the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,540 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $172,000 after buying an additional 4,240 shares during the period. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in Avis Budget Group by 43.2% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,117 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $181,000 after buying an additional 1,242 shares during the period.

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About Avis Budget Group

Avis Budget Group Inc is a provider of vehicle rental and car sharing services. The Company operates three brands, which include Avis, Budget and Zipcar. Avis and Budget are a rental car supplier. It also owns Payless, which a car rental brand; Apex, which is a car rental brand in New Zealand and Australia; Maggiore, a vehicle rental brand in Italy, and France Cars, which operates light commercial vehicle fleets in France.

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