PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) -- Avis Budget Group Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit soared 52 percent as more travelers rented cars and the company reaped benefits from its recently acquired European unit. The stock jumped more than 6 percent after the results were released.
Avis Budget said that summer reservations have been positive across the globe and noted that weak economies and recession throughout Europe has been "manageable."
The Parsippany, N.J. company earned $79 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with $52 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges for paying off debt and acquisitions, the company earned 94 cents per share in the latest period, blowing past analysts' 70-cent-per-share average estimate, according to FactSet.
Revenue rose 32 percent to $1.87 billion, slightly shy of analysts' $1.88 billion forecast. The number of rental days, which goes up either when people rent more cars or take them for longer periods, rose 34 percent in the quarter and the company booked $417 million in revenue from Avis Europe, which it bought in October. Revenue from fees for GPS, car seats and other add-ons jumped 43 percent but overall, rental rates fell 3 percent.
Looking ahead, the company trimmed its fiscal 2012 revenue outlook to a range of $7.2 billion to $7.5 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 22 percent to 27 percent. Avis said the stronger dollar was a factor in lowering the forecast from its previous estimate of $7.3 billion to $7.6 billion. Avis also said that fleet costs in North America will decline, helping to boost profitability.
Analysts, on average, are predicting full-year revenue of $7.43 billion.
Shares rose 89 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $14.99 in aftermarket trading, having closed the regular session down 27 cents at $14.10.
Earlier Wednesday, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. said its second-quarter net income rose 16 percent as lower costs offset revenue that was little changed from a year ago. The car-rental company also raised its earnings expectations for the year.
And rival Hertz Global Holdings Inc. on Monday reported a 69 percent surge in second-quarter profit as it set a company record for car-rental volume. Total revenue came in slightly shy of analyst expectations as prices dropped for some leisure rentals.