Avis Budget stock jumps 12% as car-rental company swings to quarterly profit

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Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. skyrocketed more than 12% in after-hours trading Monday after the rental-car company reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, saying it saw “significantly increasing demand” toward the end of the quarter despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases .

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Avis CAR,
+4.82%
said it earned $527 million, or $9.71 a share, in the quarter, contrasting with a loss of $170 million, or $2.43 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Avis earned $9.99 a share.

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Revenue rose 77% to $2.4 billion, thanks to more rental days as demand improved throughout the quarter, and increased revenue per day, Avis said. Revenue was 27% higher than the pre-pandemic first quarter of 2019, the company said.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the rental-car company to report adjusted EPS of $3.45 on revenue of $2.16 billion.

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“Despite the impact of omicron on the first half of the quarter, our team was able to quickly pivot to manage the significantly increasing demand during the back half of the quarter,” Chief Executive Joe Ferraro said in a statement.

“We focused on diligent fleet management and continued cost optimization to generate a new record first-quarter adjusted EBITDA,” Ferraro said.

Avis said it ended the quarter with liquidity of about $900 million, with an additional $1.7 billion of fleet funding capacity. It has “well-laddered” corporate debt, and no meaningful maturities until 2024, it said.

Avis’s board authorized a $1 billion share buyback plan in March.

Shares of Avis Budget ended the regular trading day up 4.8%. Avis stock has gained 35% so far this year, contrasting with a loss of around 13% for the S&P 500 index SPX,
+0.57%,

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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