STAMFORD — United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment-rentals company, reported declining returns and profits for the past quarter as it dealt with the disruption of the coronavirus crisis.
Second-quarter revenues amounted to approximately $1.9 billion, a 15 percent year-over-year decline that company officials attributed to the pandemic’s impact. Profits came to $212 million, a decrease of 21 percent from the same period last year.
“We’re pleased with our second-quarter results, which reflect both the flexibility and resiliency of our business model,” United CEO Matthew Flannery said in a statement this week.
“We saw a steady recovery in volume beginning in mid-April, which gave us good momentum into the start of our busy season. “While visibility is still limited, near-term indicators suggest that the second half of 2020 may track to seasonal patterns in the majority of our markets.”
United shares closed Thursday at about $157, down 4 percent from their Wednesday finish. Their 52-week high is $170.
All of United’s branches in the U.S. and Canada have remained open amid the pandemic, according to company officials. They have said that they are working to ensure employees have adequate personal protective equipment and that the firm has implemented social-distancing practices and increased disinfecting of equipment and facilities.
“Our employees did an outstanding job of executing our cost initiatives, while helping our customers operate safely in the midst of the pandemic,” Flannery said. “I’m inspired by our team’s commitment to our company and the communities we serve.”
At the same time, United has enacted a number of cost-cutting measures. Among them, it has decreased overtime and temporary labor and expects a major drop in capital spending this year.
In April, the company suspended a $500 million share-repurchase program that had been approved in January. The company said it is unable to estimate when, or if, the program would be restarted.
The recent changes would also appear to slow the deal pipeline, which has driven the company’s growth in the past decade.
In 2018, United acquired equipment-rental firm BlueLine Rental for $2.1 billion and liquid-management firm BakerCorp International Holdings for $715 million.
Ranking No. 340 on this year’s Fortune list, United is headquartered in the First Stamford Place office complex, in the city’s Waterside section.
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