Hertz can no longer be found on the New York Stock Exchange.
Trading for shares in its financially troubled parent company, Estero-based Hertz Global Holdings, has ended on the world’s largest exchange.
Company shares traded on the exchange for the last time Thursday, closing up 3 cents at $1.78, on higher-than-usual volume.
In a news release, the New York Stock Exchange announced that it suspended trading on the rental car company’s shares after a review committee upheld an earlier decision by its staff to delist the stock.
Staff found Hertz’s stock was “no longer suitable for listing” on the exchange in May after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
Hertz declined to comment on the delisting.
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In a news release, however, the company announced its shares can now be found on the over-the-counter market, under a new symbol: HTZGQ. The market — also known as the pink sheets — is designed for smaller companies, with fewer regulations. It’s for companies with so-called penny stocks, or stocks that trade for less than five dollars per share.
The new listing on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board makes the risks involved in buying the stock known, stating: “Warning! This company is in bankruptcy!”
Hertz challenged the New York Stock Exchange staff’s decision to delist its stock, which spurred a review by a special committee — and allowed company shares to continue trading on the exchange for months, while the review was in process.
The New York Stock Exchange began delisting proceedings on May 26, a few days after Hertz Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, the exchange said it took the action because of uncertainty over the bankruptcy filing’s effect on the value of the company’s common stock.
On June 12, the exchange announced Hertz had requested a review of its decision, putting the delisting in limbo.
With the review committee’s work done, the exchange said it would now file a delisting application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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The continued trading of Hertz’s shares has raised some eyebrows, due to its financial woes.
In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission halted the trading of Hertz’s stock two days in a row, raising concerns about the cash-strapped company’s sale of more stock. As a result, Hertz nixed its plans to sell up to $500 million in new shares, but not before selling $29 million worth.
The decision to end the sale of new shares came a day after SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC that the company went ahead with the risky stock offering despite his regulatory agency’s concerns.
Since Hertz’s bankruptcy filing, company shares have been volatile.
In regulatory filings, Hertz has repeatedly warned that its shares could become “worthless” in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and raised doubts about its ability to continue as a “going concern.”
The company has taken a huge financial blow from the coronavirus pandemic — and continues to suffer from it.
At the time of its Chapter 11 filings, the company had nearly $20 billion in debt.
Earlier this month, Hertz Global announced it had received commitments for $1.65 billion in new financing to drive itself out of bankruptcy.
Hertz announced it would move its global headquarters from New Jersey to Estero in May 2013. The decision by the then-Fortune 500 company followed its acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Hertz’s new multimillion-dollar headquarters opened in 2015.
Since the move, the company has traveled a bumpy road that has included an accounting scandal and the resignation of three CEOs. In July 2015, Hertz had to restate its earnings results for 2012 and 2013, as well as some results for 2011.
Just as it appeared the company had turned the corner on an ambitious turnaround plan, the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, stopping the rental car giant in its tracks. Hertz lost most of its revenue when travel shut down due to COVID-19.
The company has taken many steps to preserve its cash and cut its costs, including reducing its capital spending, canceling new fleet orders and shrinking its employee count.
In late April, Hertz announced 10,000 layoffs across its North America operations after most of the job cuts had already happened, including ones at its local headquarters.
As tourism continued to suffer, the number of layoffs and furloughs grew to 20,000 employees, or more than half of Hertz’s entire workforce.
Before the pandemic hit, the company had roughly 38,000 employees worldwide, with about 1,100 of them based in Southwest Florida.