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Hertz (HTZ) Stock Falls On Bond Default Concerns

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Shares of Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ - Free Report) fell 7.87% in trading on Friday, closing at $17.22 per share, after an analyst warned that the company’s refinancing plan could cause the company to default on its debt.

Xtract Research analyst Valerie Potenza wrote in a report that Hertz’s plan to refinance as much as $450 million in bonds may have violated covenants. The company has cancelled its plan to redeem bonds in July, which could cause Hertz to default on its debt maturing in 2019.

Potenza argues that Hertz’s 2019 notes do not say that a redemption notice can be revoked. Consequently, the company’s actions can be seen by some bondholders as a missed principal payment.

“For the moment they have enough cash, but if one group of bondholders accelerate you would expect the others to follow behind them,” Potenza said in a phone interview to Bloomberg. And if 2019 bondholders demand payment sooner, holders of the other series of Hertz debt could demand payment as well, Potenza said.

However, holders of 2019 bonds are expecting two more coupon payments. If the bondholders believe Hertz will be able to make the payments, they may not claim a default.

And yet, Hertz reported a $158 million second-quarter loss earlier this month, missing both earnings and revenue expectations. Consequently, bondholders might not have much faith.

Hertz remains a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), with a VGM score of ‘B.’

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