Post-COVID travel rebound helps Hertz post fourth-quarter earnings beat

By Scott Kanowsky -- Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HTZ) has reported better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, as the rental car company was boosted by a post-pandemic recovery in travel demand.

Adjusted earnings per share during the three months ended on December 31 came in at $0.50, a 45% decline compared to the corresponding period in the prior year but above analysts' estimates of $0.48.

Total revenue per transaction day and per unit per month - measures used by the company to measure efficiency - grew by 3% and 4%, respectively, touching record quarterly numbers. Volume also expanded by 3%, reflecting an ongoing rebound in customer levels following the lifting of COVID-era restrictions.

Shares in Hertz rallied by more than 7% in early U.S. trading on Tuesday.

Group-wide total revenue climbed by 4.4% to $2.04 billion, roughly meeting Bloomberg consensus forecasts. Analysts at Morgan Stanley noted that international sales, which grew by 27% to $328M, offset disappointing top-line expansion of 1% in Hertz's key Americas region.

"With a focus on asset return and risk management, we showed better operating performance, more disciplined fleet management and a commitment to financial returns," said Hertz Chair and Chief Executive officer Stephen Scherr in a statement. "Our team delivered on renewed demand for travel, which is continuing."

Scherr added that the firm intends to focus on its investments in electrification and technology in order to "yield increasing operating leverage and improved returns."

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