February 28, 2018 / 3:42 PM / 6 months ago

Hertz share woes deepen after earnings call

(Reuters) - Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ.N) sank further after the opening bell on Wednesday, with the car rental company’s post-earnings call failing to settle investors’ nerves after it reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss a day earlier.

FILE PHOTO: A Hertz logo is pictured on a sign at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, U.S., May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Having fallen 4-7 percent in after market trade on Tuesday and premarket on Wednesday, by 1020 a.m. ET, Hertz shares were down 11 percent.

Chief Executive Kathryn Marinello, who said on Tuesday that by 2019 the company would begin to become more competitive, told the earnings call that she was “cautiously optimistic” that the company would complete its heavy investment spending this year.

Asked if the company would bear less costs in 2019 than this and last year, Marinello said: “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have successful implementation and I’m very optimistic that once we have some tailwind behind us on the tools that we use to grow our business and service our business, we’re going to be in a whole different place in 2019.”

The company has been scrambling to recover from moves made under former Chief Executive John Tague, when it overbought compact and mid-sized cars at a time when more American drivers were opting for SUVs.

Executives also told analysts on the call that the prices Hertz charges would be hit to the tune of 20-30 basis points this year due to tax changes pass at the end of 2017.

Investments this year that would hit its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization would also be roughly $40 million higher than in 2017.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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