United Rentals Earnings Preview

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United Rentals (NYS: URI) hasn't been able to establish an earnings trend, bouncing between beating and falling short of estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Oct. 18. United Rentals is an equipment rental company, which offers equipment for rent to customers including construction and industrial companies, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners, and government entities.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back United Rentals, with seven out of eight rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. While analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $685.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 13.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.76 per share. Estimates range from $0.73 to $0.80.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 81.8% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 89.5% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are bullish on United Rentals, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 94 posts in the past 30 days. United Rentals' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management:
Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. The company increased its gross margin by 2.8 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 12.9% while cost of sales rose 8.3% to $418 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

33.5%

26.4%

29.3%

34.5%

Operating Margin

15.1%

5.7%

7.9%

15.4%

Net Margin

4.3%

(3.8%)

(3.5%)

3.8%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on United Rentals' movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your Watchlist.

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At the time this article was published

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