Hertz, Avis stocks soar, but pare less than half of previous day’s plunge

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Shares of car rental companies soared Thursday, but still just barely pared the previous session’s historic selloffs. Hertz Global Holdings Inc.’s stock ran up 22.5%, to retrace 34% of Wednesday’s record 39.6% plunge to a record closing low of $3.38. Avis Budget Group Inc.’s stock shot up 22.1%, to retrace 40% of the previous session’s 36.0% tumble–the biggest 1-day drop in 12 years–to an 11-year low. Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman cut his price target on Hertz to $6 from $19 and on Avis to $20 from $56, writing in a note to clients that both companies face an “uncertain future,” amid what is likely to be “precipitous drops in transaction days for an unknown duration” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the two, Brinkman said he believes Avis is better positioned to withstand industry headwinds, given lower financial leverage and superior free cash flow. Over the past month, Hertz’s stock has plummeted 78.7% and Avis shares have shed 78.0%, while the S&P 500 has lost 29.1%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.