Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Rentals (NYSE:URI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday. The firm currently has $189.00 target price on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “United Rentals’ shares have gained 27% in the past year, outperforming the 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 geographic borders and product portfolio through acquisitions and joint ventures. The recent addition of BakerCorp is expected to give a significant boost to United Rentals’ specialty rental business in North America and enable it to foray into some European markets.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. UBS Group set a $196.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 14th. Bank of America set a $186.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. Buckingham Research raised shares of United Rentals from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $180.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $158.00 price objective on shares of United Rentals and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $188.73.

URI stock opened at $167.05 on Tuesday. United Rentals has a 12 month low of $128.12 and a 12 month high of $190.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.59 and a beta of 2.47. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.56.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 18th. The construction company reported $3.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.45 by $0.40. The company had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.85 billion. United Rentals had a net margin of 21.18% and a return on equity of 39.28%. United Rentals’s revenue was up 18.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.37 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that United Rentals will post 16.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Donald C. Roof sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.78, for a total value of $838,900.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 12,564 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,107,987.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Michael Kneeland sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.37, for a total transaction of $4,661,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 219,925 shares in the company, valued at $34,169,747.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in United Rentals by 1.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,134,239 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,059,568,000 after purchasing an additional 92,243 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in United Rentals by 18.6% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,807,389 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $312,190,000 after purchasing an additional 282,970 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in United Rentals by 21.2% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,576,525 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $272,313,000 after purchasing an additional 275,754 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in United Rentals by 131.1% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 995,741 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $146,992,000 after purchasing an additional 564,954 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in United Rentals by 21.6% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 755,594 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $111,539,000 after purchasing an additional 134,101 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.78% of the company’s stock.

About United Rentals

United Rentals, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an equipment rental company. It operates in two segments, General Rentals; and Trench, Power, and Pump. The General Rentals segment engages in 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; and general tools and light equipment comprising pressure washers, water pumps, and power tools.

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