United Rentals (URI) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
United Rentals (NYSE:URI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Saturday.
According to Zacks, “United Rentals’ shares have gained 57.3% in the last one year, outperforming its industry it belongs to. The company’s main strategy is to improve profitability of its core equipment rental business through revenue growth, margin expansion and operational efficiencies. In particular, the company’s strategy calls for the implementation of Project XL, which is a set of eight specific work streams focused on driving profitable growth through revenue opportunities and generating incremental profitability through cost savings. United Rentals is focused on expanding its geographic borders and product portfolio through acquisitions and joint ventures. The addition of NES Rentals is expected to significantly drive the stock’s performance in the upcoming quarters as well. However, a decline in rental rates raises concern. Rental rates fell 2.2% in 2016 and 0.7% in the first nine months of 2017 on a year-over-year basis, respectively.”
Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $171.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Citigroup lifted their price objective on United Rentals from $142.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Bank of America set a $165.00 price objective on United Rentals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of United Rentals in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $154.18.
United Rentals (NYSE:URI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The construction company reported $3.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.98 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $1.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.72 billion. United Rentals had a return on equity of 44.81% and a net margin of 9.64%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 17.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.58 earnings per share. analysts predict that United Rentals will post 10.52 EPS for the current year.
United Rentals announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 18th that allows the company to repurchase $373.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the construction company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other United Rentals news, insider Michael Kneeland sold 30,000 shares of United Rentals stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.72, for a total value of $4,341,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 272,292 shares in the company, valued at $39,406,098.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Donald C. Roof sold 4,500 shares of United Rentals stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $143.95, for a total value of $647,775.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 91,760 shares of company stock valued at $13,873,111. 1.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Fulton Bank N.A. increased its holdings in shares of United Rentals by 8.2% during the fourth quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 12,240 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $2,105,000 after acquiring an additional 932 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its holdings in shares of United Rentals by 3.1% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 440,136 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $61,065,000 after acquiring an additional 13,254 shares in the last quarter. Hellman Jordan Management Co. Inc. MA bought a new stake in shares of United Rentals during the third quarter valued at approximately $766,000. AXA increased its holdings in shares of United Rentals by 44.1% during the third quarter. AXA now owns 352,516 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $48,908,000 after acquiring an additional 107,809 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Shelton Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of United Rentals by 307.6% during the third quarter. Shelton Capital Management now owns 22,924 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $3,180,000 after acquiring an additional 17,300 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.37% of the company’s stock.
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About United Rentals
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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