Dollar Thrifty Profit Soars in Q4

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group reported results Feb. 21 for the fourth quarter and full year of 2011. Net income for the 2011 fourth quarter was $33.9 million compared to net income of $12.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the quarter, the company's total revenue was $353.7 million, as compared to $349.1 million for the comparable 2010 period. Vehicle rental revenues for the quarter were up 1%, driven primarily by a 5.2% increase in rental days that was partially offset by a 4% decrease in revenue per day. 

Vehicle utilization for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 81.1%, up from 79.7% during last year's fourth quarter. The average fleet for the quarter was up 3.4%.

For the full-year 2011, Dollar Thrifty earned $159.6 million, or $5.11 per share, up from $131.2 million, or $4.34 per share, in 2010. Revenue rose to $1.55 billion from $1.54 billion.

"We are pleased to announce that for the second consecutive year, the company is reporting record earnings," said Scott L. Thompson, chairman, president and CEO in a press statement. "During 2011, we benefitted from a robust used vehicle market, a recovering travel market with increasing demand for value-oriented product offerings, and our ongoing focus on expense control and productivity initiatives."

The company reported a decline in expenses in the quarter, driven primarily as a result of favorable vehicle-related insurance costs, personnel productivity initiatives and a decline in merger-related expenses compared to the prior year. 

Per vehicle depreciation cost totaled $218 per month in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $308 per vehicle per month in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company said it continues to benefit from the overall strength of the used vehicle market. 

However, for the full-year 2012, the company expects vehicle depreciation costs to be within a range of $220 to $240 per vehicle per month. The company is utilizing a Manheim index of 124 for the full year for purposes of estimating residual values and depreciation rates.

In 2012, the company expects vehicle rental revenues to be up 3–5%compared to 2011. As well for 2012, the company expects “an improving U.S. travel market and a solid used vehicle market in 2012,” Thompson said.

For the full earnings statement release, click here: http://www.dtag.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71946&p=irol-newsArticle_print&ID=1662980&highlight=

The company also announced an extension to its shareholder rights plan to May 30, 2012. This comes after Dollar Thrifty completed a $100 million stock repurchase agreement on Feb. 9.

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