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Bear of the Day: Hertz Global (HTZ)

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Hertz Global (HTZ - Free Report)  is vehicle rental company that operates rental brands throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The brands include Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty.

Hertz Global has struggled in recent years as annual sales and have not managed to break above the pre-covid levels. Annual sales in 2019 were $9.8 billion and in 2023 were $9.4 billion.

Earnings have fallen rather precipitously over that time and so has the stock price, reflecting investors’ distaste for the business.

Hertz Global has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) rating, making it a stock that investors should avoid for now.

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Falling Earnings Estimates

Analysts have unanimously lowered earnings estimates for Hertz Global across future timeframes.

Current quarter earnings estimates have been lowered by 24.2% over the last two months and are expected to fall -205% YoY to -$0.41. FY24 earnings estimates have been revised lower by -27.5% and are projected to decline -45.3% YoY to $0.29 per share.

Sales this year and next year are forecast to grow just 2.5% and 4.5% respectively.

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Premium Valuation

What makes Hertz Global stock especially unappealing is that even with flat sales growth and falling earnings, is that it still has a high valuation.

Today, it is trading at a one year forward earnings multiple of 20.4x, which is well above its 10-year median of 6.4x.

Zacks Investment Research
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Bottom Line

Hertz Global is clearly going through some growing pains. The car rental space is very competitive, with web-based options emerging most recently, further obfuscating Hertz’s path forward. The company also holds a huge amount of debt and doesn’t appear to have a plan to remedy to weak growth forecasts.

Because of these bearish developments, I believe investors should avoid Hertz Global stock, and seek opportunities elsewhere in the market.

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