United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI), Greenwich, CT, reported sales for the third quarter 2009 were $592 million, down 32% from the prior-year period.
The company reported $0 in profit, compared with $74 million in the prior-year period.
United Rentals attributed its lack of profit to a continued decline in nonresidential construction and its "negative impact on pricing," partially offset by savings from cost-cutting initiatives.
Michael Kneeland, CFO, said: "We are making progress on key areas of the business that are within our control, despite the further deterioration of activity in most of our end markets. Our continued focus on costs was instrumental in reducing SG&A expense and cost of rentals, and we now expect our free cash flow to come in higher than previously projected for the full year. Rental rates, while down year-over-year, showed a sequential improvement from the second quarter."
United Rentals expects a "modest recovery" late in 2010, with demand building gradually through 2011 as lending comes back for nonresidential construction projects.
For the first nine months of 2009, the company reported revenue of $1.8 billion, down from $2.4 billion in the prior-year period. In the first nine months, the company reported a loss of $36 million.
United Rentals, Inc. is an equipment rental company, with 580 rental locations in 48 states, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.