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Avis up as 4Q revenue, outlook top Street's view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Avis Budget's stock rose to its highest level in more than five years Thursday after the car rental company's fourth-quarter revenue results and 2013 revenue outlook topped Wall Street's expectations.

THE SPARK: Late Wednesday Avis reported an adjusted loss of 7 cents per share on revenue of $1.7 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 7 cents per share on revenue of $1.63 billion.

The Parsippany, N.J., company also provided 2013 guidance, excluding the impact of its pending Zipcar acquisition. Avis expects full-year adjusted earnings between $1.90 and $2.45 per share. Revenue is forecast in a range of $7.6 billion to $7.8 billion.

Wall Street predicts earnings of $2.49 per share on revenue of $7.59 billion.

THE BIG PICTURE: Last month Avis announced that it was buying car-sharing company Zipcar for $491.2 million as it aims to capture a new kind of customer and technology that will expand its car rental options.

Avis was also in the running to buy Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., pursuing a bid for the company for more than a year. Dollar Thrifty agreed in August to sell itself to Hertz Global Holdings Inc. for $87.50 per share, or about $2.3 billion.

Avis is the third-largest U.S. rental car company, behind Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. rose $1.54, or 6.7percent, to $24.60 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the session, the stock touched $24.90, the highest point since 2007.