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Why United Rentals, Inc. Shares Popped Today

Image source: United Rentals.

What: United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) shares were flying higher today after the construction equipment rental company turned in a strong second-quarter earnings report, breezing past estimates.

So what: United posted earnings per share of $2.06, up 5.6% from $1.95 a year ago, and much better than the analyst consensus at $1.83. Revenue was essentially flat at $1.42 billion, slightly ahead of estimates at $1.41 billion.

Commenting on the quarter, CEO Michael Kneeland said, "We were pleased with the positive progression of monthly rental rates," which he attributed to internal initiatives taken by the company. He also said he was optimistic about the business improving "seasonally and cyclically."

Now what: United maintained its revenue guidance for the full year at $5.6 to $5.8 billion and adjusted EBITDA at $2.65 to $2.75 billion. It raised its guidance for rental rates slightly, but lowered time utilization guidance by 30 basis points.

With the American economy still looking strong, United Rentals would seem to be poised for continued profit growth as the construction sector is closely tied to overall economic growth. The stock fell sharply following the Brexit vote but has more than recouped those losses, and Kneeland reassured investors that the business has "considerable flexibility in operating our business to address changing market dynamics."

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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.