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Corporate raider Icahn wants to make his next deal Hertz real bad

5 months ago by Jon Marino in Emerging Talent

Carl Icahn wants to make his next deal, Hertz ($NYSE:HTZ), so good. 

The activist investor with an infamous mean streak has been surprisingly patient over the last few years, tinkering with a large minority position in the company that would position Icahn very well if he decided to launch a campaign to replace management or buy out Hertz - and he recently increased his position beyond 30% in the sluggish auto rental company. 

Hertz shares have plunged 86% over the last 5 years, to around $14.50, where stocks bounced up to Thursday September 12 after it was revealed the famed activist investor has taken a 30% stake in the company. 

The good news for Hertz is that its app isn't rated as poorly as WeWork ($WEWORK) - see above. The bad news is, it certainly lacks the dedication that apps like Peloton (see here) ($PELETON) have earned with their dedicated user base. After Hertz had to sue its consultant for allegedly botching its digital transformation, it seems like things could certainly be worse, though. Expect activist Icahn to push more staff aside from kiosks at check-in time, and to digitize more, if he decides to launch a campaign on his underperforming holding. 

And that could also show up in the hiring numbers - which have already fallen about 14% year-over-year. Another place it might show up on, is our map -which tracks Hertz locations by indivdual brand (at right) and over time (at bottom). Hertz has international operations - and stores coast-to-coast but it could trim underperforming locations if Icahn decides to wage an activist battle to shake up the company. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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