Why Hertz Stock Is Higher Today

The rental car giant’s shares are reliving a bit of their 2021 glory today. But recent troubles don’t inspire confidence in the rally.

Polestar EVs belonging to Hertz's rental fleet are shown at a BP Pulse EV charging station.

Hertz and BP had grand plans for EVs and charging not long ago. But the rental car giant has lately retreated from its EV ambitions, citing high costs. Image source: BP.

Shares of Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ 11.76%) were moving higher on Monday amid a revival of investor interest in the so-called meme stocks that surged earlier this decade.

As of 11:30 a.m. ET, Hertz’s shares were up about 12.3% from Friday’s closing price.

A former meme stock gets another day in the sun

Many former meme stocks — led by GameStop — were trading sharply higher on Monday after Roaring Kitty, a social media personality who inspired short squeezes and a surge of investor interest in certain stocks in 2021, posted for the first time in roughly three years.

Hertz famously rode the meme stock trend to a second life in 2021. The company had filed for bankruptcy with an uncertain outcome — but after meme stock investors piled into its stock, driving it sharply higher, Hertz was able to repay creditors and exit bankruptcy as a thriving concern.

Despite today’s stock surge, the EV retreat still hurts Hertz

The road from there hasn’t been free of bumps, however. Hertz posted disappointing first-quarter earnings last month as it announced a plan to dump tens of thousands of electric vehicles.

Hertz originally planned to purchase huge numbers of EVs from TeslaGeneral Motors, and Polestar while partnering with a unit of oil giant BP on an effort to install thousands of EV chargers around the U.S. Those purchases were ongoing until earlier this year.

But the high costs of maintaining some of those EVs, together with a lack of customer interest, led to a decision to dump much of the fleet — and to the exit of CEO Stephen Scherr in March. Don’t be surprised if today’s nostalgic rally fades.

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends BP and Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $25 calls on General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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