Software-as-a-service is also a more lucrative model for software firms like CRM. Instead of selling a software license and then trying to convince customers to spend big bucks on the next iteration of the software, the cloud model lets CRM charge recurring fees while trickling feature improvements onto the platform. And because integration with customers' systems takes place deep in the Salesforce platform, switching costs are extremely high for businesses to move to rival services. With a spotless balance sheet and rising analyst sentiment in shares, we're betting on this Rocket Stock for the first week of the new year.
Hertz Global Holdings
Car rental giant
Hertz Global Holdings
(HTZ - Get Report)
is adjusting to a major change this quarter -- the firm just closed the acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in November, adding significant capacity to the firm's network. Hertz is one of the biggest car rental firms worldwide, with around 8,500 locations in 150 countries. That network size makes competition extremely challenging -- only Hertz and a handful of peers can offer travelers car rental desks wherever they are in the world.
The car rental business is capital intense, and Hertz got punished for its exposure during the financial crisis. Between a leveraged balance sheet and the drop-off in business travelers post-2008, car rental companies were in an unfriendly market. But investors over-corrected, and Hertz has done a good job of rebounding from its 2009 lows. While balance sheet leverage is a concern (financing all of the new cars in its fleet isn't cheap), it's fueling deeper margins in this low-rate environment we're in now.
An aging average car age in the U.S. bodes well for Hertz. Since disposing of its older fleet cars is an integral part of its business, a hot used car market means that the firm can earn significant money on disposal as well as rental income. Right now, Hertz has ample cash to handle any bumps in the road, and rising analyst sentiment puts this firm on our Rocket Stocks list for the first time.
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