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Avis Budget Group Inc CAR
Q1 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/07/2012

Operator: Good morning and welcome to the Avis Budget Group First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. Today' call is being recorded.

At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Neal Goldner, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Neal Goldner - IR: Thank you, Tanya. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. On the call with me are Ron Nelson, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and David Wyshner, our Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before we discuss our results of the first quarter, I would like to remind everyone that the company will be making statements about its future results and expectations, which constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Such statements are based on current expectations in the current economic environment, and are inherently subject to economic, competitive and other uncertainties and contingencies beyond the control of management.

You should be cautioned that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important assumptions and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are specified in our earnings release, which was issued last night, our Form 10-K and other SEC filings.

If you did not receive a copy of our press release, it is available on our website at ir.avisbudgetgroup.com. We've also provided slides to accompany this morning's conference call which can be accessed on our website as well. Also, certain non-GAAP financial measures will be discussed in this call and these measures are reconciled with the GAAP numbers in our press release.

Now, I’d like to turn the call over to Avis Budget Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Nelson.

Ronald L. Nelson - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, Neal and good morning and thanks to all of you for joining us. We got our Investor Day scheduled for tomorrow we are going to limit our prepared remarks a bit today. There are still some items we do want to cover, but we are going to save the substance of our strategic dialog for tomorrow's presentation. As a reminder, if you are unable to join us in person tomorrow our meeting will be webcast so you can follow along in real-time later at your convenience.

First, the clear headline is that we had a record first quarter. We had positive rental demand in the majority of our markets and while pricing in North America was as expected we did take the necessary actions in February to tighten our fleet and move price up to two times we saw the opportunity to do so. These actions drove some improvement in pricing trends in the second half of the quarter relative to the first, although not enough to end the quarter with year-over-year pricing gains.

Margins improved significantly year-over-year, largely a result of stronger than anticipated risk car residual values, but also driving higher margins was a meaningful assist from our continued focus on growing in the most profitable segments and channels. David will share some more detailed data about that.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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