Zipcar (ZIP) reported on Friday fourth-quarter earnings that tripled on higher membership and a significant tax benefit, while the company is nearing the completion of its acquisition by Avis Budget Group (CAR).
Profit for the quarter was $13.8 million, or 34 cents a share, compared to $3.9 million and nine cents a share a year earlier. The company benefited from a non-cash net tax benefit of $10.9 million, or 27 cents a share.
Revenue climbed 12% to $70.7 million. Zipcar said Hurricane Sandy dragged down revenue by about $1 million.
Analysts were looking for per-share earnings of six cents, while revenue was in line with the company’s outlook provided in November.
Fee revenue accounted for 17% of total revenue, up from 15% the prior year. Operating expenses rose 11%, and membership jumped 16% to 777,000 members by the end of the period.
Avis is acquiring the car-sharing company in a $500 million deal, which Zipcar said will close in March or April. Avis has indicated that its fleet and infrastructure will help Zipcar become more profitable. Zipcar, which offers car rentals by the hour or day, currently focuses on major metropolitan areas like New York, Boston and London. Zipcar’s sales grown by at least 10% in each quarter since it went public in 2011.
Shares of Zipcar were down fractionally to $12.23 in early morning trading.