United Rentals Plans 5% Across-the-Board Rental Rate Increase

Rental titan will use added revenues to buy back $200 million of its common stock once its purchase of RSC closes April 30

Contractors are cutting overhead expenses by trimming debt, licensing fees, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs by renting equipment. United Rentals has benefitted, with $2.61 billion in 2011 revenue that was a 16.7% increase over 2010. Rental rates are up 6.1% and time utilization is at 69.1%.

These conditions prompted the nation's largest rental company to acquire rival RSC Holdings Inc. for $1.87 billion in cash and stock, plus $2.3 billion in debt. United will buy back $200 million of its common stock once the merger deal closes on April 30. The company plans to initiate an across-the-board 5% rental rate increase in 2012 to help pay for the stock purchase.

(More on United Rentals and industry growth . . . )

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