Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $46.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.62% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Avis Budget is aggressively increasing its presence in existing markets, while foraying in new markets like Iceland and Costa Rica. At the same time, the company is focusing on expanding its Budget brand, taking its multi-brand strategy to the next level. Anticipating strong travel trends for both leisure and commercial travelers and projecting sustained expansion of these trends, we believe that Avis Budget’s various acquisitions and collaborations will enhance its operational foothold in global markets. Moreover, sustained productivity growth, implementation of pricing initiatives and potential revenue-generating synergies from acquisitions bode well for the future. However, volatility in market demand, foreign currency risks and dependence on third-parties remain additional headwinds, leading to a tempered guidance. The company also underperformed the industry year to date.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Avis Budget Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. ValuEngine raised shares of Avis Budget Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. MKM Partners reissued a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Avis Budget Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Avis Budget Group in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, B. Riley initiated coverage on shares of Avis Budget Group in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $36.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Avis Budget Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $38.20.

Shares of Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ CAR) traded up 0.36% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $41.36. The stock had a trading volume of 1,097,082 shares. The company has a market cap of $3.42 billion, a PE ratio of 48.72 and a beta of 2.48. Avis Budget Group has a one year low of $20.71 and a one year high of $41.73. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $37.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $30.42.

Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) last released its earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The business services provider reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.32). The firm had revenue of $2.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.27 billion. Avis Budget Group had a return on equity of 8.33% and a net margin of 0.13%. The firm’s revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Avis Budget Group will post $2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director John D. Jr. Hardy sold 908 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.78, for a total transaction of $29,764.24. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,764.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Stender E. Sweeney sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.02, for a total transaction of $52,530.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 1,359 shares in the company, valued at $47,592.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 435,708 shares of company stock worth $17,133,212 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Crow Point Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $191,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Avis Budget Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $225,000. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Avis Budget Group by 13.0% during the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,881 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after purchasing an additional 1,024 shares during the last quarter.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR)

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