United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $160.00 price target on the construction company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 13.68% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world with strong brand recognition. The company’s main strategy is to improve profitability of its core equipment rental business through revenue growth, margin expansion and operational efficiencies. It is also focused on expanding its geographic borders and product portfolio through acquisitions and joint ventures. Also, United Rentals’ shares gained 69.1% in the past year, outperforming the industry it belongs to. The addition of NES Rentals is expected to significantly boost growth, driving the stock’s performance in the upcoming quarters as well.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on URI. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals in a report on Friday, June 9th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on United Rentals from $130.00 to $142.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 21st. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $157.00 price objective (up from $130.00) on shares of United Rentals in a report on Tuesday. UBS AG reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $125.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded United Rentals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $133.17.

Shares of United Rentals (NYSE URI) traded up 1.21% during trading on Thursday, reaching $142.46. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 211,277 shares. The stock has a market cap of $12.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.69 and a beta of 2.46. United Rentals has a 52-week low of $70.58 and a 52-week high of $142.71. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $124.12 and a 200-day moving average of $116.59.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The construction company reported $2.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.28 by $0.09. United Rentals had a return on equity of 46.01% and a net margin of 9.86%. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.55 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.06 earnings per share. United Rentals’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that United Rentals will post $9.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Michael Kneeland sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.77, for a total value of $3,623,100.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 302,292 shares in the company, valued at $36,507,804.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO William B. Plummer sold 5,301 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.26, for a total value of $679,906.26. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 38,055 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,880,934.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in URI. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in United Rentals by 9.0% during the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 362,874 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $45,377,000 after purchasing an additional 29,864 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System grew its stake in shares of United Rentals by 0.5% during the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 20,900 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $2,614,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp grew its stake in shares of United Rentals by 51.8% during the first quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 8,805 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,101,000 after buying an additional 3,006 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC grew its stake in shares of United Rentals by 6.4% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 180,694 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $22,596,000 after buying an additional 10,925 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in shares of United Rentals by 13.4% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 259,754 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $32,482,000 after buying an additional 30,706 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.75% of the company’s stock.

United Rentals Company Profile

United Rentals, Inc is a holding company. The Company is an equipment rental company, which operates throughout the United States and Canada. It operates through two segments: general rentals, and trench, power and pump. The general rentals segment includes the rental of construction, aerial, industrial and homeowner equipment and related services and activities.

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Analyst Recommendations for United Rentals (NYSE:URI)

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