Avis shares mysteriously double in value then tank, but don’t blame Reddit this time

November 2, 2021, 4:15 PM UTC

Avis shares spiked from $174 to $545 in frenetic trading Tuesday morning—and no one seems entirely sure why.

The rapid spike in price and volume caused the NYSE to halt trading several times between 10:45 a.m. ET and 11:10 a.m. ET. After hitting its high, the stock began to decline rapidly, indicating plenty of investor profit taking.

While many people are theorizing that Avis had become the latest meme stock, following in the footsteps of GameStop and AMC, Reddit’s WallStreetBets community seemed at as much of a loss as everyone else.

Chatter about the stock was nonexistent until nearly 11:00 a.m. ET, with Redditors asking, “Why is it exploding?” and “No one saw it coming?”

Avis did report quarterly earnings Tuesday of $10.74 per share, well above consensus expectations of $6.52. And on a conference call, CEO Joe Ferraro told analysts Avis planned to play a big role in the adoption of electric cars in the U.S.

That mention came on the same day that Elon Musk muddied the waters, saying Tesla’s deal with Hertz, in which the rental car company would buy 100,000 Model 3 vehicles, wasn’t signed yet. Speculators may have tied the two events together, but Avis did not disclose plans to add EVs to its fleet on Tuesday.

As of 12:15 p.m. ET, Avis shares had dropped from their highs to around $320.

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