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United Rentals (URI) Q1 Earnings: Stock Set to Disappoint?

United Rentals, Inc. URI is slated to release its first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 20, after markets close.

In the last reported quarter, United Rentals’ earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the company has outpaced the consensus estimate in the remaining three of the trailing four quarters, with an average earnings beat of 6.16%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Watch For

United Rentals expects that the majority of its end markets will continue to recover and drive demand for equipment rental service. Further, the nonresidential construction markets are recovering and the equipment rental industry continues to grow. These factors are expected to drive the company’s earnings.

However, United Rentals remains cautious about capital expenditure. The company expects capital expenditure in first-quarter 2016 to be less than half the amount it spent a year ago. At the same time, a significant drag in the upstream oil and gas market and a weak Canadian dollar remain headwinds.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that United Rentals is likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. Unfortunately, that is not the case here as elaborated below:

Zacks ESP: United Rentals has an Earnings ESP of -5.09%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.12 while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged higher at $1.18.

Zacks Rank: United Rentals’ Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of the ESP. Nevertheless, we need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Headwaters Incorporated HW has an Earnings ESP of +11.11% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Trex Co. Inc. TREX has an Earnings ESP of +1.54% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. ASPN has an Earnings ESP of +20.00% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
TREX COMPANY (TREX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
UTD RENTALS INC (URI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HEADWATERS INC (HW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ASPEN AEROGELS (ASPN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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