Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 35,948,822 shares, an increase of 6.0% from the June 30th total of 33,917,131 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,857,359 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.3 days. Approximately 43.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In other news, Director John D. Jr. Hardy sold 992 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.20, for a total transaction of $26,982.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 992 shares in the company, valued at approximately $26,982.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp increased its position in Avis Budget Group by 21.9% in the first quarter. DUPONT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 108,100 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,198,000 after buying an additional 19,396 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in Avis Budget Group by 435.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 72,420 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,142,000 after buying an additional 58,896 shares in the last quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D acquired a new position in Avis Budget Group during the first quarter worth $20,706,000. New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust acquired a new position in Avis Budget Group during the first quarter worth $355,000. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in shares of Avis Budget Group by 24.9% in the first quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 11,866 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $351,000 after buying an additional 2,366 shares during the period.

A number of research firms have recently commented on CAR. BidaskClub upgraded Avis Budget Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Avis Budget Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Avis Budget Group in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Avis Budget Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on Avis Budget Group from $38.00 to $27.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Friday, May 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Avis Budget Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $36.11.

Shares of Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) opened at 32.70 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $27.02 and its 200-day moving average is $30.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.75 billion, a PE ratio of 27.66 and a beta of 2.47. Avis Budget Group has a 12 month low of $20.71 and a 12 month high of $41.53.

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The business services provider reported ($0.94) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.51) by $0.43. The business had revenue of $1.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.88 billion. Avis Budget Group had a net margin of 1.24% and a return on equity of 74.55%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted ($0.28) EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Avis Budget Group will post $2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Avis Budget Group

Avis Budget Group Inc is a provider of vehicle rental and car sharing services. The Company operates three brands, which include Avis, Budget and Zipcar. Avis and Budget are a rental car supplier. It also owns Payless, which a car rental brand; Apex, which is a car rental brand in New Zealand and Australia; Maggiore, a vehicle rental brand in Italy, and France Cars, which operates light commercial vehicle fleets in France.

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