A new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that John Griffin and his hedge fund Blue Ridge Capital have increased their exposure to Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR). Blue Ridge increased its stake to 6.6 million shares, from around 4.3 million shares disclosed in the latest 13F. The stake is passive by nature and represents almost 6.2% of the outstanding stock of the company. At the current stock price of Avis Budget Group, the holding in the Blue Ridge’s equity portfolio has a value of $242.9 million.
The stock of Avis has returned over 85% since the beginning of the year, trailing a solid forward P/E of 13.xx. According to Morningstar, the year-to-date return of the company is one of the highest in the industry of Rental and Leasing Services, also topping the 40% overall return of the industry. With a market cap of almost $4.0 billion, Avis Budget Group is one of the biggest companies in the industry in which it operates.
Around a week ago, Avis announced about signing an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets, under the terms of which, the company plans to sell $250 million worth of Floating Rate Senior Notes due 2017. The notes will be sold by Avis’ subsidiary Avis Budget Car Rental. The gains from the offering, the company plans to repurchase some of its other outstanding notes with earlier due dates, as well as other general purposes.
At the end of the third quarter, several hedge funds from our database held long positions in Avis Budget Group. Iridian Asset Management, managed by David Cohen and Harold Levy, disclosed owning 7.4 million shares, worth $212.5 million. Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management Group disclosed cutting its holding in the company by some 824,000 shares to 2.4 million shares, with a value of $68 million.