Thursday, April 27, 2023

Today our look at the wide world of disclosures in Q1 2023 filings continues with a quick visit to Hertz Global Holdings ($HTZ), the car rental giant. Hertz filed its first-quarter report on Thursday, and right away we found an answer to a question we’ve often wondered while waiting in line to pick up our rental at the airport.

Just how much money does Hertz make from renting all those cars every day?

Hertz does disclose this detail, in a non-GAAP metric known as total revenue per transaction day — abbreviated as “total RPD.” That number is calculated as total rental revenue divided by the total number of transaction days for the period. Essentially, it measures how much money Hertz made per car per day that car was in use.

So for example, in Q1 2023, Hertz reported $2.047 billion in revenue. It also reported 33.79 million “transaction days” — the total number of cars multiplied by the total number of days each car was driven. Divide 33.79 million into $2.047 billion, and you get total RPD of $60.48 for the quarter.

That disclosure is nicely reported on Page 2 of Hertz’s earnings release, and is shown in Figure 1, below (high-lighted in blue).

That’s interesting unto itself, but we also wanted to know how total RPD has changed over time. Easy enough to do! We simply held our mouse over the $60.48 figure to pull up the previous tag history. That displayed what Hertz had reported for total RPD for the last nine quarters. See Figure 2, below.

From there, we copied those values and dumped them into a spreadsheet, did some re-arranging to line up the quarters, and cooked up this nifty chart (Figure 3, below) complete with trendline.

As you can see, total RPD has fluctuated over the last two years, although it’s broadly moving in the right direction (for Hertz, anyway; not for those of us renting one of its cars).

We should note, this entire analysis exercise — from the moment we saw Hertz listed on our Recent Filings page to finishing the chart above — took all of, like, two minutes. And it was all done by our marketing intern, no less, whose research skills are still under development. If even the intern can get a presentation-ready chart completed (on a non-GAAP metric!) in mere minutes, just imagine what you can do.

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