Avis Budget 2nd-quarter profit beats, shares up

Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:29pm EDT

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Car rental company Avis Budget Group posted a quarterly profit that beat market expectations on higher revenue in North America and lower fleet cost, sending its shares up 6 percent in after-market trade.

The company said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew 18 percent at its North America segment, helped mainly by a 3 percent increase in revenue and a 13 percent fall in per-unit fleet costs.

The company said it now expects 2012 revenue between $7.2 billion and $7.5 billion, down from its prior estimate of $7.3 billion to $7.6 billion.

Avis, which dropped out of the race to buy Dollar Thrifty in September last year, has met the company several times this year, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Net income rose to $79 million, or 66 cents per share, from $52 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 94 cents per share.

Revenue rose 32 percent to $1.87 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue of $1.91 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company closed at $14.10 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

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