United Rentals this week posted a 40.4-percent first-quarter revenue jump with the benefit of the incorporated RSC group in the totals. Total revenue was $1.1 billion compared to $656.0 million in the first quarter of 2012. Rental revenue in the quarter jumped 43 percent to $916 million from $523 million in the same period a year ago. On a GAAP basis, the company reported net income of $21 million, or $0.19 per diluted share. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.58 per diluted share.

Adjusted EBITDA was $451 million and adjusted EBITDA margin was 41.0 percent, an increase of $59 million and 420 basis points, respectively, from the same period last year. The company has reaffirmed its outlook for full-year adjusted EBITDA in a range of $2.25 billion to $2.35 billion.

Time utilization in the quarter increased 30 basis points year-over-year to 64.2 percent. The company reaffirmed its outlook for full-year time utilization of approximately 68.0 percent.

The company realized cost synergies of $53 million in the quarter from the RSC integration, and reaffirmed its fully developed goal of $230 million to $250 million of cost synergies on a run-rate basis.

"Our first-quarter performance has given us a strong start to a pivotal year,” said Michael Kneeland, CEO of United Rentals. “Revenue, rates and time utilization all met or exceeded our expectations, and our adjusted EBITDA margin of 41 percent was a first-quarter record for us. We remain solidly on track for a year of disciplined growth, including a rental rate increase of 4.5 percent on total revenue of approximately $5 billion.

"As our end markets recover, we have an opportunity to gain ground where it will be most profitable: with key accounts of all types and specialty rentals. We plan to expand our sales force by at least 10 percent this year to capitalize on over a billion dollars of net fleet purchases. At the same time, we'll continue to drive cost efficiencies and further lower our debt leverage. We feel confident that our full-year performance will meet our outlook and give us even greater earning power going into the next several years."

For the first quarter 2013, free cash flow was $234 million, after total rental and non-rental capital expenditures of $303 million. By comparison, free cash usage for the first-quarter 2012 on an as-reported basis was $89 million after total rental and non-rental capital expenditures of $426 million. The company has reaffirmed its outlook for full year 2013 free cash flow in the range of $400 million to $500 million, after net rental capital expenditures of approximately $1.05 billion and gross purchases of approximately $1.5 billion.

The size of the rental fleet was $7.24 billion of original equipment cost at March 31, compared with $7.23 billion at Dec. 31, 2012. The age of the rental fleet was 47.0 months on an OEC-weighted basis at March 31, compared with 47.2 months at Dec. 31.

Greenwich, Conn.-based United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.