Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Rentals (NYSE:URI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $143.00 target price on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of United Rentals have outperformed the industry in the past three months. We remain encouraged by the company’s growth prospects after it posted better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter of 2018. Earnings and revenues not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also grew 45.2% and 20%, respectively, from the year-ago quarter. The topline particularly gained from high rental revenues (up 20.8% year over year) and volume of rent equipment. Rental rates also favored the results. For 2019, it expects revenues to increase further on strong gains in volume, margins and rates. Prudent investments in fleet, accretive acquisitions and robust end-market demand are the primary strengths of the company. However, highly fragmented and competitive equipment rental industry, along with high costs, are likely to continue to plague in the near term.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Barclays began coverage on United Rentals in a research report on Friday, December 14th. They set an equal weight rating and a $130.00 target price for the company. UBS Group set a $180.00 target price on United Rentals and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on United Rentals from $190.00 to $175.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Standpoint Research began coverage on United Rentals in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $140.00 target price for the company. Finally, Argus upgraded United Rentals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. United Rentals currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $157.09.

NYSE URI opened at $126.34 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.19. The company has a market cap of $9.97 billion, a PE ratio of 7.77, a PEG ratio of 0.37 and a beta of 2.51. United Rentals has a one year low of $94.28 and a one year high of $190.74.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The construction company reported $4.85 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.77 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.22 billion. United Rentals had a return on equity of 41.91% and a net margin of 13.62%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 20.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $3.34 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that United Rentals will post 19.31 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Shiv Singh purchased 390 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 28th. The shares were bought at an average price of $124.72 per share, for a total transaction of $48,640.80. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 2,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $349,590.16. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Craig Adam Pintoff sold 7,343 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $125.66, for a total value of $922,721.38. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,720 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,352,355.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in United Rentals by 16.3% in the fourth quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 8,205 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $842,000 after purchasing an additional 1,149 shares during the period. ETF Managers Group LLC increased its stake in United Rentals by 265.6% in the fourth quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 3,199 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $328,000 after purchasing an additional 2,324 shares during the period. Financial Counselors Inc. increased its stake in United Rentals by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Financial Counselors Inc. now owns 13,884 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,424,000 after purchasing an additional 911 shares during the period. Atwood & Palmer Inc. increased its stake in United Rentals by 158.6% in the fourth quarter. Atwood & Palmer Inc. now owns 187,900 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $19,265,000 after purchasing an additional 115,230 shares during the period. Finally, Greatmark Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in United Rentals in the fourth quarter worth $231,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.90% 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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