Merger costs send Hertz to Q4 loss

By Danny King
Hertz Global Holdings took a fourth-quarter loss on costs associated with its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, but the company beat analysts’ revenue estimates.

Hertz boosted fourth-quarter revenue from a year earlier by 15% to $2.32 billion, in part because of the 43 days of the quarter that it owned Dollar Thrifty.

A 25% jump in transaction days was partially offset by a 1.7% decline in average rental rates.

The company beat the $2.24 billion revenue estimate by analysts in a Thomson Reuters survey.

Hertz also projected that its revenue would total $10.9 billion in 2013, also beating the analysts' forecast of $10.8 billion. Hertz shares were up about 4% at about 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday.

Hertz took a fourth-quarter loss of $36.4 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $47.1 million.

Hertz’s selling, general and administrative costs almost doubled from a year earlier to $330.4 million, while the company recorded $46.1 million in “other” expenses, reflecting the Dollar Thrifty buyout.

For the year, Hertz boosted net income by 38% to $243.1 million, while revenue advanced 8.7% to $9.02 billion.

Hertz in November completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty, boosting its share of the U.S. car rental market to about 26% from 20%, according to trade publication Auto Rental News. Closely held Enterprise has about 49% of the U.S. market.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly. 
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