Shares of United Rentals Inc. (NYSE:URI) shot up 3.5% during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $81.37 and last traded at $80.32, with a volume of 969,266 shares. The stock had previously closed at $77.62.

Several brokerages have commented on URI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Rentals from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of United Rentals from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $85.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday. RBC Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 target price (up from $68.00) on shares of United Rentals in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on shares of United Rentals from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $80.00 target price on shares of United Rentals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. United Rentals currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.60.

The firm has a market capitalization of $6.96 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.18. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $73.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $64.11.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.82 by $0.24. The firm earned $1.42 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.40 billion. United Rentals’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.95 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that United Rentals Inc. will post $8.04 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Jessica Graziano sold 877 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.34, for a total value of $66,950.18. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 7,127 shares in the company, valued at approximately $544,075.18. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael Kneeland sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.35, for a total value of $1,527,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 387,169 shares in the company, valued at $29,560,353.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in URI. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in United Rentals by 156.6% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 17,703 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,284,000 after buying an additional 10,804 shares during the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK raised its stake in United Rentals by 25.1% in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 18,598 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,374,000 after buying an additional 3,734 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its stake in United Rentals by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 33,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,426,000 after buying an additional 1,177 shares during the last quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas raised its stake in United Rentals by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 98,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,109,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in United Rentals by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 343,383 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,910,000 after buying an additional 10,826 shares during the last quarter.

United Rentals, Inc is a holding company engaged in the business of equipment rental. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, United Rentals (North America), Inc (URNA) and subsidiaries of URNA. It operates through two segments: general rentals, and trench, power and pump. The general rentals includes the rental of general construction and industrial equipment, such as backhoes, skid-steer loaders, forklifts, earthmoving equipment and material handling equipment; aerial work platforms, such as boom lifts and scissor lifts, general tools and light equipment, such as pressure washers, water pumps and power tools.

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