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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hertz Global, Avis Budget Group, LATAM Airlines and Whiting Petroleum

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 29, 2020 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Hertz Global Holdings HTZ, Avis Budget Group CAR, LATAM Airlines LTM and Whiting Petroleum WLL.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

The Story of How Hertz Global (HTZ) Fell

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings declined 11.5% to $1.16 in after-hours trading yesterday. This double-digit fall was caused by the news that billionaire investor Carl Icahn sold his stake in the company.

Per a regulatory filing, Carl Icahn sold his entire 55.3 million shares or 39% interest for 72 cents per share. Icahn, who was the company’s primary stakeholder, decided to divest his owned portion for a significant loss following Hertz Global’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection on May 22. Notably, Icahn has been a stakeholder at Hertz since 2014.

Naturally, the exit of such a high-profile investor is a huge setback for the company, which competes with the likes of the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player Avis Budget Group in the car rental space. The stock has already shed 91.7% of value so far this year compared with Its industry’s merely 8.3% decline.

Notably, Hertz’s business suffered massive damages due to the coronavirus pandemic with demand for car rental services vanishing as most people are staying indoors on account of lockdown and social distancing. Its high debt levels are a further concern with its revenue stream being badly hit. Notably, the company ended the March quarter with cash and cash equivalents worth $1,409 million whereas its total debt amounted to a staggering $20,598 million. The total debt to total capital ratio for Hertz increased to 0.93 at the end of first-quarter 2020 compared with 0.91 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

Further intensifying its woes was the persistent management uncertainty that induced frequent shifts in the top brass over the past few years. The most recent change came on May 18 when Paul Stone replaced Kathryn Marinello as the company CEO.

Due to the above-mentioned headwinds, the company filed for insolvency safety. The bankruptcy filing, however, does not include Hertz’s operations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand as well as its franchised locations in the United States.

Notably, the company, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), is not the only entity to have petitioned for liquidation in these coronavirus-ravaged times. Other companies including the Zacks #3 Ranked Latin American carrier LATAM Airlines and oil producer Whiting Petroleum, also carrying the same Zacks Rank, have also done the same thing

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Avis Budget Group, Inc. (CAR): Free Stock Analysis Report
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc (HTZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
LATAM Airlines Group S.A. (LTM): Free Stock Analysis Report
Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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