GREENWICH, Conn. — United Rentals announced that it has revised its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2001 because of the economic slowdown.
“The slowing economy vision continues to impact our business, particularly in the western states,” CEO Brad Jacobs said. “Nevertheless, we continue to generate significant profits and free cash flow from operations and are benefiting from the steps we took earlier this year to cut costs, restrict capital expenditures and maximize the utilization of our fleet.”
United expects revenues for the fourth quarter in the range of $700 million to $730 million, between 32 cents and 37 cents per share.
In response, the company is selling underutilized equipment, increasing the sharing of fleet between branches and identifying further operating efficiencies, Jacobs added.
United reported a sharp reduction in new equipment and merchandise sales, which makes up about 20 percent of revenue. Analyst Salomon Smith Barney projected that new equipment sales will be down about 9 percent year-over-year in third quarter 2001, with similar results in the fourth quarter, reflecting overall conditions in the light construction equipment market.
Greenwich, Conn.-based United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100, with more than 740 locations in 47 states, seven Canadian provinces and Mexico.
In other company news, United Rentals recently celebrated its 20 millionth rental transaction, less than four years since the company was founded. United's Salinas, Calif., branch signed a contract with one of United's biggest construction customers — Granite Construction Co. — to pass the 20 million mark.