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Hertz shares skyrocket nearly 20% after CEO says there's been 'significant progress' in its turnaround plan

  • Shares of the rental-car company soared nearly 20 percent on Wednesday after positive comments by Hertz CEO Kathryn Marinello.
  • The CEO acknowledged there was still work to be done but said there's been "significant progress" in the company's "turnaround plan" to downsize its crowded fleet.
  • Hertz reported a loss of 63 cents on revenue of $2.22 billion, while Wall Street expected a loss of 20 cents on revenue of $2.22 billion.

Hertz's luck may be turning around, but investors will need to wait longer to see results.

Shares of the rental-car company soared nearly 20 percent on Wednesday after positive comments by CEO Kathryn Marinello.

"We have made significant progress in the first half of the year, executing on our operating turnaround plan," Marinello said in a press release Tuesday. "Admittedly, we still have a lot of work to do, but these early wins are evidence that we have the right plan in place to ultimately achieve best-in-class outcomes."

The CEO says the company is focusing on downsizing its fleet of depreciating cars by increasing spending to complete its "transformation" of its fleet.

"Of course, the hard work always comes before the pay off as reflected in our second quarter results, where increased spending to fix areas of weakness and invest in areas of opportunity were exacerbated by a challenging vehicle residual environment in the U.S.," Marinello wrote.

Customers wait in line at a Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rental location inside Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Customers wait in line at a Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rental location inside Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Hertz posted a wider-than-expected loss on Tuesday for second-quarter results. The rental-car company reported a loss of 63 cents on revenue of $2.22 billion, while Wall Street expected a loss of 20 cents on revenue of $2.22 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

The huge loss has been driven by increased vehicle depreciation. The company reported that its net depreciation per vehicle per month was 27 percent higher than its net depreciation in the second quarter of 2016.

Hertz has had a tumultuous summer, with its shares plunging 21 percent in late July after Barclays downgraded the stock to underweight. The rental car space has also faced major challenges by car-sharing and ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Shares of rival car-rental company Avis were also surging more than 6 percent on Wednesday after it suffered an earnings miss on Monday.

The stock is down 20 percent year-to-date and has fallen more than 61 percent the last 12 months.

Hertz 12-month performance