Avis Budget Group (CAR) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Avis Budget is focused on expanding its global presence by increasing the number of company-operated locations in fast-growing markets. The company operates through distinct global brands that focus on different market segments and complement other brands in their respective regional markets. Fleet expansion and technology enhancement initiatives are other tailwinds. Despite such positives, Avis Budget continues to face hurdles like high fleet costs and stiff competition in the vehicle rental industry. Disruption and termination of relationships with third-party distribution channels may adversely impact its financial condition and operational results. The company’s rental business experiences seasonal variations. The company’s shares underperformed its industry in the past year”

CAR has been the subject of a number of other reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Avis Budget Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 13th. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Avis Budget Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 22nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Avis Budget Group from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $30.00 to $35.00 in a research note on Monday, February 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Avis Budget Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.50.

NASDAQ CAR traded down $0.56 on Wednesday, hitting $34.25. 3,944 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,176,967. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 33.24, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 1.27. Avis Budget Group has a 52 week low of $21.63 and a 52 week high of $50.88. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.61 billion, a PE ratio of 9.39 and a beta of 1.95.

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The business services provider reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.22. The company had revenue of $2.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.05 billion. Avis Budget Group had a return on equity of 66.29% and a net margin of 1.81%. Avis Budget Group’s revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.45 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Avis Budget Group will post 3.88 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Srs Investment Management, Llc purchased 4,189,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $35.33 per share, for a total transaction of $148,007,969.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Michael K. Tucker sold 4,796 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.50, for a total transaction of $170,258.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 66,906 shares in the company, valued at $2,375,163. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Texas Permanent School Fund lifted its position in Avis Budget Group by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 42,516 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $956,000 after acquiring an additional 660 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 24,099 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $542,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 6.3% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 16,902 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $380,000 after acquiring an additional 1,006 shares in the last quarter. Loeb Partners Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Finally, Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new position in Avis Budget Group during the 4th quarter worth $34,000. 99.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Avis Budget Group Company Profile

Avis Budget Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides car and truck rentals, car sharing, and ancillary services to businesses and consumers worldwide. It operates the Avis brand, a vehicle rental system with approximately 5,450 locations that supply rental cars to the premium commercial and leisure segments of the travel industry; the Budget brand, a vehicle rental and other mobility solutions primarily focuses on the value-conscious segments of the industry; the Zipcar brand, a membership-based car sharing network; and the Budget Truck brand, a local and one-way truck rental businesses with a fleet of approximately 19,000 vehicles, which are rented through a network of approximately 925 dealer-operated and 450 company-operated locations that serve the consumer and light commercial sectors in the continental United States.

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