United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) late Wednesday posted better than expected first quarter earnings results and lifted its full-year outlook, as rental volumes rose but rental rates fell.
The Stamford, CT-based equipment rental specialist reported Q1 earnings per share (EPS) of $1.63, which was $0.08 better than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.55.
Revenues rose 3.5% from last year to $1.36 billion, also beating analysts’ view for $1.33 billion. Rental revenue gained 4.4% year-over-year on higher volume, although rental rates declined 1.4%.
Looking ahead, URI boosted its full-year guidance to reflect the acquisition of NES Rentals. It now sees 2017 revenues of $6.05 to $6.25 billion, up from a prior outlook of $5.75 to $5.95 bln. Analysts are looking for $6.08 billion in revenue for the year.
The company commented via press release:
“We were pleased with our momentum in the first quarter, particularly our 7% growth in volume and record time utilization driven by strength in our core construction markets. It was also encouraging to see positive trends in our upstream oil and gas business after the headwinds faced over the last several years. While our rental rates remained under some pressure, they continue to support our reaffirmed standalone 2017 guidance for total revenue, adjusted EBITDA and capital spending, and our increased guidance for free cash flow.”
United Rentals, Inc. shares fell $6.45 (-5.40%) to $113.00 in after-hours trading Wednesday following the news. Year-to-date, URI had gained 13.14% prior to today’s report, versus a 4.89% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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