Avis Shares Rise on Positive 4Q Results

Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. surged recently, after the car-rental company said it posted a steep loss for the fourth quarter, but its adjusted results beat Wall Street predictions.

In a recent afternoon trading, Avis Budget shares rose $1.33, or 11.4 percent, to $12.99 after peaking at $13.07 earlier in the day.

The news also pulled shares of rival Hertz Global Holdings Inc., which reports its results next week, up 80 cents, or 6 percent, to $14.22 after reaching $14.41 earlier in the session.

Avis Budget's results included a $1.1 billion charge mainly related to the decline in market value of the stock price at year-end compared with book value. Excluding that charge, the company earned 27 cents per share, while analysts expected earnings of 18 cents per share.

Analysts predicted a rocky 2008 for the car-rental companies in light of uncertain demand resulting from an economic slowdown.

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