Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa-Based Dollar Thrifty 4Q Profit Increases

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa-Based Dollar Thrifty 4Q Profit Increases

Article excerpt

Car rental company Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group posted lower- than-expected quarterly results, hurt by increased competition and higher vehicle depreciation costs.

Fourth-quarter profits were up to $12.5 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to $11.5 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 27 cents a share.

Revenue rose slightly to $349.1 million, but revenue per day declined 1.2 percent.

"If any stakeholder in the company - an employee, a shareholder - needed reminding about why the company was receptive to being gobbled up, this report is a reminder," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive of Tulsa's Longbow Asset Management. "It is about the cutthroat competition, and it's why Hertz and Avis wanted Dollar Thrifty."

Dollar Thrifty, which was the subject of a takeover battle between rivals Avis Budget Group and Hertz Global Holdings Inc., said it expects pricing to be flat in 2011.

Shares of the Tulsa-based company rose 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $52.78 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock has gained 11 percent in value since Nov. 2, when the company forecast a higher rental revenue growth in the fourth quarter over the third.

Annual profits rose 191 percent to $131.2 million, or $4.34 a share, compared to $45 million or $1.88 a share for 2009. Profits were up in spite of an increase in diluted shares outstanding of about 25 percent as a result of the company's equity offering in November 2009.

Analyst Fredric E. Russell, principal of Tulsa-based Fredric E. Russell Investment Management Co., pointed to the annual net income.

"The company is doing very well," Russell said. "Dollar Thrifty made more than $131 million after all the expenses related to the merger activity."

Russell said that while Dollar Thrifty expects further recovery in travel activity as the economy continues to improve, the company said it expects the revenue-per-day environment to be competitive, resulting in flat pricing this year compared to 2010. …

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