United Rentals, Inc. (URI) hit a new 52-week high of $78.37 and then closed at $77.37 on Jan 6. The Greenwich, CT-based equipment rental company has a long-term expected earnings growth of 17.86%.
The company has delivered a one-year return of about 61.1%, outperforming the S&P 500. Over the past 52 weeks, United Rentals’ share price has ranged from a 52-week low of $44.85 on Jun 24, 2013 to a 52-week high on Jan 6, 2014. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 1495K.
What's Driving United Rentals Upward?
United Rentals’ shares have been on the rise following its strong third quarter 2013 results declared on Oct 16. United Rentals reported adjusted earnings of $1.63 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.58 and improving from the prior-year quarter’s earnings of $1.35 per share.
The improvement was driven by growth in sales of new equipment as well as equipment rentals. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in four consecutive quarters, averaging 12.22%.
United Rentals reiterated its adjusted EBITDA guidance for the full year in the range of $2.25 billion - $2.35 billion. The company has reaffirmed its outlook for time utilization of around 68.0%. It has also retained the outlook of cost synergies on a run-rate basis in the band of $230 million-$250 million for fiscal 2013.
The announcement on Dec 12 by United Rentals that it is further expanding its specialty branch network with the addition of two locations dedicated to tool management services also lent support to the stock. The new branches have opened in Plano, Texas, and Cambridge, Ontario, serving the Dallas and Toronto metropolitan areas, respectively.
United Rentals’ board of directors authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, which is expected to be completed within 18 months. This will provide a boost to its earnings. The company is also poised to benefit from a rebound in non-residential construction.
Other Stocks to Consider
United Rentals currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering in the sector include James Hardie Industries plc (JHX), Aaron's, Inc. (AAN) and Masco Corp. (MAS). While James Hardie carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Aaron's and Masco carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).