Earlier this month a firm called Audit Integrity issued a press release with the names of 20 large and prominent companies that are most likely to declare bankruptcy within a year. Hertz was included on the list. With offices in L.A. and NY, Audit Integrity based its findings on a proprietary modeling of financial information from more than 8,500 public companies. I chose not to mention the companies at the time because such information is the business equivalent of yelling fire in a theater. But as you might expect, the findings got a fair amount of attention on the Web, and one of the analysts was interviewed on CNBC. And now, Hertz Global Holdings is suing Audit Integrity for defamation. From Reuters:
Mark Frissora, Hertz's chief executive, in a statement on Monday called the lawsuit "an appropriate response to the publication of false and harmful information" about Hertz. "Not only are the conclusions about our financial health baseless, but questioning the integrity of our financial reporting is indefensible," he added.
Hertz is seeking monetary damages, including punitive damages, and a retraction. I'm not sure a lawsuit is the most sensible way to go (it'll no doubt generate even more attention), but these speculative "predictions" are popping up all over the Web, and it's good to see someone challenging what seem to be pretty questionable claims.