Hertz was too risky for Carl Icahn. Not for Cory Gerber.

Late last month, after Hertz Global Holdings Inc. said it would file for bankruptcy protection, the 84-year-old billionaire sold his stake in the car-rental company for just 72 cents a share. That was a buy signal for Mr. Gerber.

The 29-year-old electrician in Seattle acknowledges Hertz…

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