United Rentals Announces Third Quarter 2010 Results

Greenwich, CT - Oct 18, 2010

 

United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) today announced financial results for the third quarter 2010. Total revenue was $605 million, compared with $592 million for the same period last year, and rental revenue was $507 million, compared with $478 million for the same period last year. Operating income was $93 million, compared with $67 million for the same period last year.

On a GAAP EPS basis, the company reported third quarter 2010 net income of $23 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, compared with net income of $0 million, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the same period in 2009. Adjusted EPS for the quarter, which excludes the impact of special items, was $0.40 per diluted share, compared with $0.01 per diluted share the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA margin, which also excludes the impact of special items, was 35.7% for the quarter, compared with 31.1% in 2009.

Third Quarter 2010 Highlights

  • Time utilization was 71.3%, an increase of 7.1 percentage points from third quarter last year, and a record high for the company. Rental rates declined 1.4% year over year, but improved 2.0% sequentially from the second quarter. Dollar utilization, which reflects the impact of time utilization and rental rates, increased 2.9 percentage points to 51.6%, compared to the same period last year.
  • Free cash flow was $37 million for the quarter, compared with $123 million for the same period last year. The company raised its outlook for full year net rental capital expenditures (defined as purchases of rental equipment less the proceeds from sales of rental equipment) to a range of $180 million to $200 million, from its previous estimate of $160 million to $180 million, to service key accounts and meet increased demand. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for full year free cash flow of a range of $200 million to $225 million.
  • SG&A expense decreased by $4 million, compared to the same period last year. The company has reaffirmed its outlook for full year SG&A expense reduction within a range of $40 million to $50 million.
  • Cost of equipment rentals, excluding depreciation, increased by $12 million compared to the same period last year, reflecting higher transaction volume and equipment on rent. The company has updated its outlook for full year expense reduction to a range of $5 million to $15 million, from its previous estimate of $30 million to $50 million.
  • The company sold $74 million of used fleet on an original equipment cost basis and generated a gross margin of 31.3%, compared with $100 million of used fleet sold at a gross margin of 7.3% for the same period last year.

CEO Comments

Michael Kneeland, chief executive officer of United Rentals, said, "While the recovery is progressing slowly, business conditions have improved in all of our operating regions. Rental is a very attractive alternative to buying equipment right now, aided by tight credit markets and cautious customer behavior. As a result, we are seeing increased demand despite the weakness in construction spending. We view record time utilization and sequential quarterly rate improvement as two very positive indicators of profitable growth.”

Kneeland continued, “Our results also show that we are clearly delivering on our strategic priorities. Because of the operating leverage we’ve built into the business, our growth in operating income and adjusted EBITDA surpassed our rental revenue growth. We increased our fleet investment to better meet demand and to further strengthen relationships with our key customers. This is exactly where we want to take the company -- toward better earnings in our core business, with stronger margins and sustainable fixed cost savings. Current trends suggest that our year over year rate performance should be flat to slightly positive in the fourth quarter, with further improvement in 2011.”

Nine Months 2010 Results

For the first nine months 2010, the company reported total revenue of $1,640 million and rental revenue of $1,337 million, compared with $1,801 million and $1,380 million, respectively, for the same period last year. Operating income was $150 million for the first nine months 2010, compared with $90 million for the same period last year.

On a GAAP EPS basis, the company reported a net loss of $5 million, or a loss of $0.09 per diluted share, for the first nine months 2010, compared with a net loss of $36 million, or a loss of $0.60 per diluted share, for the same period in 2009. Adjusted EPS, which excludes the impact of special items, was income of $0.18 per diluted share for the first nine months 2010, compared with a loss of $0.55 per diluted share the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA margin, which also excludes the impact of special items, was 31.1% for the first nine months 2010, compared with 26.6% in 2009.

Free Cash Flow and Fleet Size

For the first nine months 2010, free cash flow was $144 million, including the receipt of a previously announced $55 million federal tax refund, and after total rental and non-rental capital expenditures of $307 million. By comparison, free cash flow for the first nine months 2009 was $322 million after total rental and non-rental capital expenditures of $232 million.

The size of the rental fleet was $3,805 million of original equipment cost at September 30, 2010, compared with $3,803 million at September 30, 2009, and $3,763 million at December 31, 2009. The age of the rental fleet was 46.2 months on a unit-weighted basis at September 30, 2010, compared with 42.4 months at December 31, 2009.

Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

The company’s ROIC metric uses after-tax operating income for the trailing 12 months divided by the averages of stockholders’ equity (deficit), debt and deferred taxes, net of average cash. To mitigate the volatility related to fluctuations in our tax rate from period to period, during the third quarter the company adjusted its calculation of ROIC such that operating income is now taxed at the federal statutory tax rate of 35%, rather than the reported effective tax rate for a given period. With this new methodology, the company’s ROIC was 3.2% for the 12 months ended September 30, 2010, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the same period last year. Had the company utilized its prior methodology, ROIC for the 12 months ended September 30, 2010, would have been negative 6.1%, a decrease of 9.5 percentage points from the same period last year.

Conference Call

United Rentals will hold a conference call tomorrow, Wednesday, October 20, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The conference call will be available live by audio webcast at unitedrentals.com, where it will be archived until the next earnings call, and by calling 866-256-3815.

Non-GAAP Measures

Free cash flow, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted earnings per share (adjusted EPS) are non-GAAP financial measures as defined under the rules of the SEC. Free cash flow represents net cash provided by operating activities, less purchases of rental and non-rental equipment plus proceeds from sales of rental and non-rental equipment and excess tax benefits from share-based payment arrangements, net. EBITDA represents the sum of net income (loss), provision (benefit) for income taxes, interest expense, net, interest expense-subordinated convertible debentures, net, depreciation of rental equipment and non-rental depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA plus the sum of the restructuring charge and stock compensation expense, net. Adjusted EPS represents EPS plus the sum of the restructuring charge, the gains/losses on the repurchase/redemption of debt securities and retirement of subordinated convertible debentures, and the asset impairment charge. The company believes that: (i) free cash flow provides useful additional information concerning cash flow available to meet future debt service obligations and working capital requirements; (ii) EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA provide useful information about operating performance and period-over-period growth; and (iii) adjusted EPS provides useful information concerning future profitability. However, none of these measures should be considered as alternatives to net income, cash flows from operating activities or earnings per share under GAAP as indicators of operating performance or liquidity. Information reconciling forward-looking free cash flow to a GAAP financial measure is unavailable to the company without unreasonable effort.

About United Rentals

United Rentals, Inc. is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with an integrated network of 549 rental locations in 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The company’s approximately 7,400 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The company offers for rent approximately 2,900 classes of equipment with a total original cost of $3.8 billion. United Rentals is a member of the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 2000 Index® and is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn. Additional information about United Rentals is available at unitedrentals.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seek,” “on-track,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend” or “anticipate,” or the negative thereof or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy or outlook. You are cautioned that our business and operations are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and, consequently, our actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) on-going decreases in North American construction and industrial activities, which have significantly affected revenues and, because many of our costs are fixed, our profitability, and which may further reduce demand and prices for our products and services; (2) inability to benefit from government spending associated with stimulus-related construction projects; (3) our highly leveraged capital structure, which requires us to use a substantial portion of our cash flow for debt service and can constrain our flexibility in responding to unanticipated or adverse business conditions; (4) noncompliance with financial or other covenants in our debt agreements, which could result in our lenders terminating our credit facilities and requiring us to repay outstanding borrowings; (5) inability to access the capital that our business may require; (6) increases in our maintenance and replacement costs as we age our fleet, and decreases in the residual value of our equipment; (7) inability to sell our new or used fleet in the amounts, or at the prices, we expect; (8) rates we can charge and time utilization we can achieve being less than anticipated; and (9) costs we incur being more than anticipated, and the inability to realize expected savings in the amounts or time frames planned. For a fuller description of these and other possible uncertainties, please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, as well as to our subsequent filings with the SEC. Our forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date hereof, and we make no commitment to update or publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements in order to reflect new information or subsequent events, circumstances or changes in expectations.

 

Contact:

Fred Bratman
(203) 618-7318
Cell: (917) 847-4507
fbratman@ur.com