total 2019 revenues
across North America & Europe as of December 31, 2019
approximately as of December 31, 2019
return on invested capital for 2018
United Rentals continued to perform well in 2019, in what was a year of steady progress for our company. We delivered profitable growth, both organically and through the impact of our acquisitions.
The operating environment, while uneven, generally played out in our favor. Our core construction markets continued to grow at a moderating pace, and contractor backlogs stayed at healthy levels. By contrast, manufacturing activity was more mixed, particularly parts of the oil and gas sector.
Against this backdrop, we completed the integrations of our 2018 acquisitions — most notably BakerCorp in our Specialty Rentals segment and BlueLine in General Rentals. The success of these integrations is reflected in the nearly 15% increase in rental revenue we reported for 2019. At the same time, it’s important to note that we increased pro forma rental revenue by 4% year-over-year, excluding the impact of the acquisitions.
For the full year 2019, compared with 2018, United Rentals delivered a 15% increase in GAAP earnings per diluted share to $15.11. Adjusted EPS(1) improved by 20% to $19.52. Net income increased to $1.2 billion, adjusted EBITDA(1) increased to $4.4 billion, and free cash flow(1) , excluding merger and restructuring-related payments, increased to $1.6 billion after capex. Return on invested capital was 10.4%, meaningfully higher than our weighted average cost of capital. [continue reading below]
Note: (1) Adjusted EPS, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are non-GAAP measures. Please see the reconciliation of these measures to the comparable GAAP measures contained in the “Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section in the accompanying Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and in our fiscal 2019 earnings press release furnished on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 29, 2020.
Additional Investor Relations Sections to Explore
Reports & Proxy Statements
Archive of annual reports and previous proxy statements
Access company organization, committee charters and governance documents.
Archive of public company communications along with the contact information.
Published outline of upcoming investor events and conference calls
Archive of presentations to United Rentals investors
Contact information for both equity and bond research
Documents submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Executive Leadership and Vice Presidents
[continued from above]
These results reflect a tailwind from our Specialty Rentals segment, which had another strong year. Rental revenue from Trench, Power and Fluid Solutions grew by a combined 26.8% year-overyear. About a third of that growth was organic, underpinned by cross-selling and the 34 coldstarts we opened in 2019. We have another 25 openings planned for 2020, bringing our Specialty network to nearly 400 locations this year.
Importantly, the over $5 billion we’ve invested in acquisitions and cold-starts over the past three years has enhanced our ability to deliver more value to our customers. Size is one of our defining characteristics: we had a record 1,175 locations and more than 19,000 employees at year-end 2019. But, that’s not the goal in itself — the end game is always to become a more valuable partner for our customers, and scale is a mechanism to get us there.
Equally important is the pride we take in corporate responsibility. Our company’s intense safety culture, commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship are highly valued by our customers. They see how we continually invest in quality and capacity, and they envision us as part of their future. When we offer customers greater expertise, a safer experience, better digital connectivity and more ways to become productive, we open gateways to shareholder value.
Our scale also has a positive impact on corporate sustainability. Our larger organization is more diverse than in the past — that’s important to our culture. The causes supported by our employees range from the United Compassion Fund and emergency response in our communities, to employment of military veterans, women’s rights and diversity in construction. When we build more capacity for growth, we also expand our capacity to do good.
Discipline and Resilience
Looking at 2020, we expect to gain more ground in a cycle that’s not without its challenges, but one that should continue to provide a growth environment this year. No company can control the operating environment, but United Rentals has the ability to continuously improve the business from the inside out. It’s in our nature to strive for more.
Our guidance for full year 2020 is for total revenue in the range of $9.4 billion to $9.8 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of $4.35 billion to $4.55 billion. We expect net rental capex to be between $1.05 billion and $1.35 billion, after gross purchases of $1.9 billion to $2.2 billion. We’re guiding to net cash provided by operating activities in the range of $2.85 billion to $3.35 billion.
Free cash flow, excluding merger and restructuringrelated payments, is expected to be between $1.6 billion and $1.8 billion in 2020. Given this outlook, and our strong free cash flow generation in 2019, we announced our intention to return $1.5 billion to our investors. This includes a new $500 million share repurchase program, with the remainder available to pay down debt.
While our guidance provides an important framework in the short-term, the priority of our leadership team is to manage the business for the optimal balance of growth, margin, returns and free cash flow over time. We remain open to all possible avenues for value creation, including investing in strategic initiatives that have the potential to be accretive to our stakeholders in the long-term.
Going forward, the entire team is focused on unlocking the value of this big engine we’ve built. We’ve shown that we can operate as a disciplined, resilient company capable of generating returns across cycles. That’s what our investors expect, and that’s what we’ll deliver.
March 24, 2020
Matthew J. Flannery, President & Chief Executive Officer
Michael J. Kneeland Chairman of the Board
United Rentals, Inc.
100 First Stamford Place, Suite 700 Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 622-3131
Fax: (203) 622-6080
Ernst & Young LLP
5 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Investment professionals may contact:
2019 ANNUAL MEETING
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 9:00 am Eastern Time.
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
1800 East Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
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Call toll-free (800) 937-5449 in the United States please visit our and Canada, (718) 921-8200.
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Note about picture: United Rentals was the primary rental equipment provider as the New York State Thruway Authority replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge with a new 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge across the Hudson River 20 miles north of New York City. The $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States.
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