Bank of America Lowers Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) to Neutral

Bank of America downgraded shares of Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Price Targets.com reports.

CAR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group from $38.00 to $42.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, February 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group from $38.00 to $35.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an equal weight rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group in a research report on Monday, March 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Avis Budget Group presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.67.

CAR opened at $79.33 on Tuesday. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $70.88 and a 200 day simple moving average of $46.77. The firm has a market cap of $5.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -12.13 and a beta of 2.31. Avis Budget Group has a twelve month low of $9.44 and a twelve month high of $81.31.

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 15th. The business services provider reported ($0.36) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.40) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.38 billion. Avis Budget Group had a negative net margin of 7.28% and a negative return on equity of 199.17%. Analysts forecast that Avis Budget Group will post -6.29 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Edward P. Linnen sold 8,300 shares of Avis Budget Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.49, for a total value of $518,667.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 35,038 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,189,524.62. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Brian J. Choi acquired 23,735 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 19th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $45.88 per share, for a total transaction of $1,088,961.80. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,009,360. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 23.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Avis Budget Group in the 1st quarter worth approximately $308,000. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 0.4% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 67,458 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $4,893,000 after acquiring an additional 245 shares in the last quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division increased its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 65.2% in the first quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 17,523 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,271,000 after acquiring an additional 6,917 shares in the last quarter. Canton Hathaway LLC purchased a new position in shares of Avis Budget Group in the first quarter worth approximately $73,000. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 3.9% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 13,400 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $972,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 99.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Avis Budget Group

Avis Budget Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides car and truck rentals, car sharing, and ancillary services to businesses and consumers. It operates the Avis brand, a vehicle rental system that supply rental cars to the premium commercial and leisure segments of the travel industry; the Budget Truck brand, a local and one-way truck rental businesses with a fleet of approximately 20,000 vehicles, which are rented through a network of approximately 515 dealer-operated and 410 company-operated locations that serve the consumer and light commercial sectors in the continental United States; and the Zipcar brand, a car sharing network.

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