Hertz Q1 net loss $2.43 vs. expectations of $1.36 loss a share

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Hertz shares fall 3% on company’s earnings miss

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. fell more than 3% late Tuesday after the car-rental company reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings and sales below expectations and called for “elevated investments” this year in technology. Hertz said it earned $616 million in the quarter, or $7.42 a share, versus a loss of $5.30 a share in the year-ago period. The results included a one-time benefit of $679 million related to the U.S. tax overhaul. Adjusted for one-time items, Hertz lost $64 million, or 77 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of 71 cents a year ago. Revenue reached $2.1 billion, up 4% from $2 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of 60 cents a share on sales of $2.06 billion. “The company’s top priority in 2017 was to design and launch an operational improvement plan that would drive sustainable, profitable revenue growth,” Chief Executive Kathryn V. Marinello said in a statement. In the first half of 2017, Hertz “right-sized” its fleet and began upgrading vehicle quality, among other initiatives, she said. The company’s performance reflected positive momentum against these moves in the second half of the year, she said. “In 2018, we expect to see continued progress from our U.S. improvement programs. However, we also will have elevated investments throughout the year as we implement several, major technology conversions,” she said. “By 2019, we should begin to evolve toward a more competitive earnings profile.” Shares ended the regular trading day down 3.8%.

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