Hertz and Dollar Thrifty each report climbing rental volume

By Danny King
Hertz Global Holdings and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group each reported higher third-quarter revenue on Thursday, as higher car-rental volume more than offset lower daily rates.

Profit at Hertz, which in August reached an agreement to acquire Dollar Thrifty, jumped 18% from a year earlier. Dollar Thrifty’s profit fell 17% on merger-related expenses and reduced gains in the used-vehicle market.

Hertz’s revenue rose 3.4% to $2.52 billion, as worldwide car rental revenue rose 5.3%, excluding currency effects. U.S. transaction days rose 6.1%, more than offsetting a 2.8% decline in revenue per rental day.

Net income rose to $242.9 million from $206.7 million on the combination of higher revenue and lower operating and interest expenses.

Meanwhile, Dollar Thrifty’s revenue rose 2% to $460.1 million, as a 7.1% increase in revenue days more than offset a 5.1% decrease in revenue per rental day.

That said, Dollar Thrifty’s net income fell to $55.5 million from $66.6 million a year earlier, as the company incurred $5.7 million in merger-related expenses.

Dollar Thrifty's gains on sales of so-called "at-risk vehicles," or cars that are purchased new from manufacturers without a pre-set resale price, fell $12.2 million from a year earlier.

Still, Dollar Thrifty boosted the lower end of its 2012 earnings forecast, excluding some items, by $15 million to $300 million.

In August, Hertz agreed to acquire Dollar Thrifty for $2.6 billion after a 28-month courtship. Last month, Hertz said it agreed to give the Federal Trade Commission until Nov. 16 to review the agreement.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.
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