GREENWICH, Conn. — United Rentals topped Wall Street expectations with $746 million in fourth-quarter revenue, a 24.5-percent year-over-year increase compared with $597 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Rental revenue jumped 18.5 percent to $589 million for the quarter, compared with $497 million a year ago.
For the full year, total revenue was $2.61 billion, a 16.7-percent increase compared with $2.24 billion in 2010. United Rentals posted $2.15 billion in rental revenue compared with $1.83 billion in 2010 rental revenue, a 17.5-percent hike.
For the fourth quarter of 2011, adjusted EBITDA was $281 million and adjusted EBITDA margin was 37.7 percent, an increase of $100 million or 55.2 percent.
Rental rates jumped 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared with Q410, while volume of equipment on rent increased 15.1 percent. For the full year, rental rates increased 6.1 percent compared with 2010.
Time utilization for the full year 2011 was 69.1 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points and a full-year record for United Rentals. Fourth-quarter time utilization jumped 1.5 to 70.8 percent, a fourth-quarter record for the company.
Full-year net capital expenditures — purchases of rental equipment minus the proceeds from sales of rental equipment — totaled $566 million in 2011, compared with $202 million in 2010.
Looking forward to 2012, apart from its planned merger with RSC Rentals, United expects a 5-percent year-over-year rental-rate increase and a 0.5-percent time utilization boost. It expects net capital expenditures of between $770 million and $820 million, with gross fleet purchases of about $1 billion.
“The fourth quarter marked a strong end to a stellar year for our company, particularly in light of the sluggish economy,” said CEO Michael Kneeland. “Once again we drove rental revenue ahead of the construction recovery through a combination of rate improvement and record time utilization on a larger fleet. The fundamentals of our growth are rock solid; our strategic focus on customer service excellence, rigorous efficiency and rental-rate expansion. I'm very proud of the way our employees have delivered in all of these areas. Through their efforts, we are in excellent position to capitalize on the emerging up-cycle as well as the broader secular shift toward equipment rental. We are tremendously excited about the opportunities of 2012, which we expect will be a transformative year for United Rentals.”
Kneeland added that United is making good progress on all fronts towards its intended acquisition of RSC and the integration planning. “With our markets in recovery, the timing is ideal to combine these two companies into a best-in-class United Rentals with a wealth of best practices for value creation.”
United reported that the size of the rental fleet, as measured by original equipment cost, was $4.29 billion Dec. 31, compared with $3.79 billion Dec. 31, 2010. The age of the rental fleet was 46.4 months on a unit-weighted basis on Dec. 31, compared with 47.7 months Dec. 31, 2010.
United Rentals agreed to acquire RSC Holdings in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $18 per share for a total of $4.2 billion. United and RSC expect the transaction to close in the first half of 2012.
Based in Greenwich, Conn., United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.