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Tag Archives: Companies & Markets

4th-Largest US Rental Car Company, Advantage, Files for Bankruptcy: 3rd Time in Decade, Hertz & Private Equity Written All Over It

The “bare bones” petition is a sign that “something was about to happen.” Pressure piles on the used-vehicle wholesale market. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The second major rental car company popped in less than a week – but this one is owned by a private equity firm, Catalyst Capital Group in Canada. Advantage Holdco Inc., the holding company of Advantage Rent-a-Car, the fourth largest rental car company in the US, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday late evening. The...

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It Starts: The Corporate Mega-Bailout Bonanza in Europe, Germany on Top

Airlines, automakers at the forefront. And it has only just begun. EU waives rules banning state aid. Ryanair, which doesn’t need a bailout, is furious. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET: Governments around Europe have rolled out a dizzying array of measures, including loan programs, tax payment deferrals, and furlough schemes, to help companies, large and small, withstand the fallout of the Covid-19 lockdowns. Large companies have also benefited from massive central bank purchases...

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US Air Passenger Traffic over Memorial Day Weekend Down 87%, Amid Signs of Slow Recovery

Airlines don’t expect a quick recovery back to “normal” either. Based on their decisions about aircraft in their fleets, they expect this to drag out for years. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. This was the first big travel weekend of the Pandemic Era – meaning a holiday weekend when normally Americans like to go somewhere. So let’s see how it went for airlines. The worst for the economy may be over, meaning that the economy, which is in terrible shape, may not get worse from here on...

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Hertz Bankruptcy Threatens to Make Mess of Used-Vehicle Prices with Burst of Pent-Up Supply

Here come the “bankruptcy-remote special-purpose subsidiaries” and $14.5 billion in rental-vehicle-backed securities. The stock market – other than Carl Icahn – smelled a rat for years. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Hertz Corporation and its US and Canadian subsidiaries Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Firefly, Hertz Car Sales, and Donlen – but not its subsidiaries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand – on Friday May 22 threatens to make a royal mess of...

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Green-Energy Zombie Abengoa Threatens to Default 3rd Time Since Enron-Style Collapse, Blames Covid, Begs for Fresh Bailout

In the forlorn hope the world’s biggest green-energy zombie will somehow survive the oncoming storm. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET: When it comes to amassing and defaulting on insurmountable debt loads and then having the debt restructured to live another day, few companies can hold a candle to Abengoa, the global green energy giant, headquartered in Spain, famed for cooking its books with Enron-esque aplomb before collapsing in 2015. Reverberations were felt the world over,...

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What Unicorn Money-Sinkholes Actually Disrupt

They have accomplished an amazing feat: losing tons of money year after year during the Good Times in what were profitable industries. By Wolf Richter. This is the transcript from my podcast last Sunday, THE WOLF STREET REPORT: What do the companies Wayfair, Zillow, Uber, Lyft, WeWork, Carvana, Tesla, Airbnb, Casper Sleep, Zume, and many others have in common in addition to their current or former status as unicorns with huge valuations? There is one fundamental thing they all have in...

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During the Last Financial Crisis, Even Ecommerce Sales Plunged. Not This Time

Ecommerce Spiked to Record. Mall Stores Got Hung Out to Dry. Walmart’s Online Sales, Still Woefully Behind, Shot Up 74% By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Walmart US ecommerce sales set the tone. Being the largest grocery seller in the US, it didn’t have to close its stores. Nevertheless, its ecommerce sales soared 74% in the first quarter, compared to Q1 a year ago, Walmart reported today. This would be an increase of $3.2 billion from a year ago to $7.5 billion. But Walmart US had...

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Zombie J.C. Penney Finally Files for Bankruptcy, in Deal with Distressed Debt Funds. Stock and Some Bonds Wiped Out

Investors bet on this outcome for years. Covid-19 just sped it up by a few months. Department Stores Are Toast. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. I’m in awe of how long these publicly traded companies with access to hyperventilating capital markets can hang in there and burn cash and ruin their brand and drive away their customers, and make expense-cutting their business model, and present this expense-cutting to investors to get more cash to keep the charade going, over and over...

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Here’s What Collapsed, Spiked, or Hung On in 12 Charts of Retail Sales (Yes, Department Stores Were Already Toast)

Ecommerce booms. Years of brick-and-mortar meltdown gets compressed into a few months. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. Just how hard it is to even track the sudden collapse of brick-and-mortar retail sales when many stores are temporarily shut down and when the Census Bureau was operating at reduced capacity, was made clear in a special note when the Census Bureau released its report on retail sales today. The store locations across the US are normally contacted in various ways,...

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First the Freight Recession, Now Covid-19: Trucking & Rail Freight Collapses. Is This the Bottom?

YRC, one of the largest less-than-truckload carriers, wheezes under the strain. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET. The hope is that April was the bottom, that volumes can’t fall further, that factories and retailers will gradually open and that consumers and businesses will buy these goods, and that trucks and railroads will roll again. That’s the hope. It might take a long time to get back on track, but at least the hope is that the plunge in the demand for transportation services...

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