The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

May 9, 2012

Dollar Thrifty 1Q net income more than doubles

TULSA, Okla. — Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.’s first-quarter profit more than doubled partly due to increased rental revenue and lower expenses.

The car rental company said on Wednesday that its net income rose to $40.4 million, or $1.35 per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from $16.5 million, or 53 cent per share, a year ago.

The results met the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.

Chairman, President and CEO Scott Thompson said in a statement that it was the biggest first-quarter profit in the Tulsa, Okla., company’s history.

Total costs and expenses dropped to $288.6 million from $322.4 million.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $356.3 million from $348.3 million, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $354.5 million.

Vehicle rental revenue rose to $339.1 million from $332.3 million, benefiting from a 6.5 percent increase in rental days. Vehicle usage climbed to 81 percent from 79.7 percent.

Fleet cost per car dropped to $136 per month from $251 per month mostly because of lower depreciation rates.

Dollar Thrifty maintained its full-year earnings outlook of $5 to $5.60 per share. The company raised its guidance in late April, when it increased the low end of its first-quarter earnings forecast.

Analysts expect 2012 earnings of $5.32 per share.

Dollar Thrifty shares finished at $80.53 on Tuesday.  They are up 58 percent from their 52-week low of $50.94 in October, and are approaching their high of $84.27 set last May.

Dollar Thrifty had been the target of competing takeover attempts by Avis Budget Group Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc. a year ago. It avoided a takeover in part by adopting a shareholder rights plan, known as a “poison pill,” in May 2011.

 

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