United Rentals reported total revenue of $805.1 million in the third quarter of 2003, up from $783.1 million for the same period last year, with rental revenue rising from $615.5 million to $625.7 million year over year. Gross profit rose from $245.7 million to $258.6 million year over year, while same-store rental revenue jumped 4.7 percent and rental rates increased 3.4 percent over last year’s third quarter.
Net income dropped in the third quarter from $40.8 million in 3Q03 to $31.9 million this year, with earnings per diluted share dropping from 43 cents in last year’s third quarter to 34 cents this year. The decrease in net income is because of a non-cash charge of $11.7 million attributable to the vesting of restricted shares granted to senior executives in 2001. The vesting was triggered this quarter by the increase in the company’s stock price. Excluding the charge, net income for the quarter would have been $42 million, with earnings per diluted share of 44 cents.
Chairman and CEO Brad Jacobs was particularly bullish about the increase in rental rates. “This quarter’s increase in rental rates was achieved despite continued softness in our end markets,” Jacobs said. “We expect that the emerging economic recovery should lead to improved business conditions, but the timing of a significant rebound in non-residential construction remains difficult to forecast.”
For the first nine months of 2003, United pulled even with last year with a total of $2.13 billion.