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In The News:

United Rentals Benefits from More Renting, Less Buying

United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI), Greenwich, CT, reported total sales for the second quarter 2010 were $557 million; rental revenue was $450 million, a 9.4 percent decline in overall sales from the same period a year ago. Profit was $12 million in the second quarter, compared with a net loss of $17 million in 2009.

Michael Kneeland, CEO, said: "This was a strong quarter with a number of positive trends in the underlying metrics. Our same-store rental revenues increased 2.7 percent, with year-over-year growth in six of our nine operating regions. We reported the highest time utilization of any second quarter in our company's history. Rental rates, while down year over year, improved sequentially each month. We are also running the business much more efficiently and spending capex where it counts, purchasing fleet that we are confident will be in demand by our target accounts.”

Kneeland expects a "choppy recovery," but says United is seeing the early stages of an upturn. "As contractors take on work with limited access to capital, they are choosing to rent rather than buy equipment. We find it encouraging that demand is coming from more than one source as we move into recovery."

For the first six months of 2010, revenues were $1.03 billion, with rental revenue of $830 million, compared with $1.2 billion and $902 million, respectively for the same period last year. For the first six months, the company reported a net loss of $28 million.

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