Hertz 3rd-qtr profit beats estimates on strong travel demand

Thu Nov 1, 2012 6:59am EDT

Hertz rental cars are parked in a rental lot near Detroit Metropolitan airport in Romulus, Michigan May 9, 2011. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Hertz rental cars are parked in a rental lot near Detroit Metropolitan airport in Romulus, Michigan May 9, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

(Reuters) - Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc, which is trying to buy rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

The car rental industry, tied closely to airline traffic and hotel bookings, has benefited from recovering business and travel in the United States.

Hertz said worldwide car rental revenue rose 2 percent to $2.15 billion, while worldwide equipment rental revenue rose 13 percent to $363.0 million.

Third-quarter net income attributable to the company rose to $242.9 million, or 55 cents per share, from $206.7 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 63 cents per share.

Revenue rose more than 3 percent to $2.51 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 61 cents per share on revenue of $2.59 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hertz made an offer earlier this year to acquire smaller rival Dollar Thrifty for $2.56 billion to boost its rental offering in the cheaper off-airport market.

However, the deal has run into antitrust issues as a merger would leave only three players controlling about 95 percent of the market.

Shares of the Park Ridge, New Jersey-based company were up 2 percent at $13.51 in trading after the bell. (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)