Avis Budget Group (CAR) Raised to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Monday morning. The brokerage currently has $57.00 target price on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “We appreciate Avis Budget’s focus on expanding its global presence by increasing the number of company-operated locations in fast-growing markets. The company also invests in other growing markets where car rental demand is on the rise. It remains focused on fortifying its fleet with latest car models to attract customers. We believe the company's fundamental drivers such as sustained productivity growth, implementation of pricing initiatives and potential revenue-generating synergies from various acquisitions are likely to enhance its future prospects. In the past year, the stock outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, Avis Budget continues to face hurdles like high fleet costs, unfavorable currency headwinds and intense competition from rival players in the vehicle rental industry.”

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CAR has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Avis Budget Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 3rd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Avis Budget Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. Northcoast Research downgraded shares of Avis Budget Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, April 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank increased their price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group from $48.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Finally, Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of Avis Budget Group from a neutral rating to a sell rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $40.12 to $33.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $39.64.

Shares of NASDAQ:CAR opened at $48.58 on Monday. Avis Budget Group has a 52 week low of $20.71 and a 52 week high of $50.88. The company has a quick ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 22.33. The company has a market capitalization of $3,865.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.05 and a beta of 2.20.

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The business services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.25. Avis Budget Group had a net margin of 4.08% and a return on equity of 76.64%. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.15 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Avis Budget Group will post 3.29 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CAR. Jefferies Group LLC acquired a new position in Avis Budget Group during the fourth quarter worth $283,506,000. Pzena Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Avis Budget Group by 67.6% in the fourth quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 1,660,313 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $72,855,000 after acquiring an additional 669,678 shares during the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP acquired a new stake in Avis Budget Group in the fourth quarter valued at $18,987,000. Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its stake in Avis Budget Group by 129.6% in the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 593,500 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $26,043,000 after acquiring an additional 335,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted its stake in Avis Budget Group by 185.4% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 400,967 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $17,593,000 after acquiring an additional 260,491 shares during the last quarter.

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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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