Dollar Thrifty reports record first-quarter profits

Thursday, April 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group reported record first-quarter profits Thursday as cost-cutting measures and an improving travel industry allowed the company to exceed analysts' expectations.

The Tulsa-based company had net income of $12.1 million, or $.49 per diluted share, compared with $9.2 million, or $.38 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2001.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of $.33.

Dollar, which owns Dollar Rent A Car Systems and Thrifty, also said it expects earnings per share for the year to range between $1.50 and $2 with second-quarter earnings between $.47 and $.57, depending on industry capacity and airline travel patterns.

Despite a 4 percent decline in first-quarter revenue to $242.8 million from $251.2 million a year ago, profits grew because of last year's reduction in fleet size and headquarters staff.

``The company is benefitting from the cost reductions initiated during the fourth quarter,'' said Joseph E. Cappy, chairman and chief executive officer. ``We are also benefitting from improving travel trends, which were positively impacted during the first quarter by an early Easter.''