Hertz, the rental car company that is going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, can now sell up to $1 billion in stock as it seeks to tap into one of the hottest tickets in town: traders with an appetite for short-term speculative bets.
The decision Friday by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware gives Hertz permission to sell as up to 246.8 million unissued shares to Jefferies LLC. Hertz, which made the emergency request Thursday, has not entered into an agreement with Jefferies, the company noted in a regulatory filing.
Yes, that’s right. The company, which is fighting the New York Stock Exchange from being delisted, can sell stock that might soon be wiped out completely. And it appears there are plenty of retail investors willing and ready to jump in on this scheme.
Shares of Hertz closed at $2.83 Friday, a 37.38% rise from the previous day’s close. The company has seen its share price rise more than 400% since reaching a historical closing low of $0.56 on May 26.
Last month, Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing was hardly a surprise. The rental company has been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once business trips and other travel was halted, Hertz was suddenly sitting on an unused asset — lots and lots of cars. It wasn’t just that the revenue spigot was turned off. Used car prices also went into free-fall, which further devalued the fleet.
The company said in its May filing that it had more than $1 billion in cash on hand, which it said it will use to keep the business operating through the bankruptcy process. Since then, another compelling source of capital has emerged. Robinhood traders, we’re looking at you.
This week, Hertz was No. 2 on the popularity chart at Robintrack, a website that tracks Robinhood’s data. The chart tracks the number of Robinhood users holding a particular stock over a one-day, three-day, one-week and one-month periods. This week, the most popular stock in terms of increases in traders was Nikola Motor, a company that saw its share price skyrocket despite forecasting that it wouldn’t generate a drop of revenue until at least 2021.
To fully immerse ourselves in this puzzling trend, let’s go into the TechCrunch time machine — bleep bop bleep — and look at February 21, 2020. Hertz shares closed at $20.29, the highest closing price since January 2018. At that time, about 1,064 Robinhood users held Hertz stock.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sent the economy into a tailspin, Hertz stock followed suit and dropped more than 83% between February 21 and March 18. It rose briefly and then continued to slide until May 26 when shares closed at $0.56 (that’s down 97.24% from the closing high in February). Meanwhile, over at Robinhood, Hertz’s problems started to look like a buying opportunity. Robinhood traders began to invest in Hertz as the stock price fell. By March 18, more than 3,500 Robinhood users held Hertz stock. A month later, that number popped to more than 18,000, and then nearly doubled to surpass 43,000 users by May 21.
Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 22. And that’s when it got nutty. As of Friday, 170,046 Robinhood users held Hertz stock.
To be clear, Robinhood is just one of the many tools retail investors use. What’s popular on Robinhood might not reflect broader investor sentiment. However, it does provide a snapshot into what younger and newer investors are interested in.
See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.
The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.
This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.
Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.
Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.
See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.
Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover
Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.
Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.
The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.
Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.
This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.
GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching
First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more
Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.
GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.
Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.
With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.
Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.
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