United Rentals Inc. Analysis – Initial Coverage $URI

220px-United_Rentals_Logo.svgBenjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 5 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – June 2015.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how United Rentals Inc. (URI) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): United Rentals, Inc. (United Rentals) is a holding company engaged in the business of equipment rental. The Company conducts its operations through its wholly owned subsidiary, United Rentals (North America), Inc. (URNA), and its subsidiaries. It operates in two segments: general rentals and trench safety, power and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), and pump solutions. The general rentals segment consists of around 12 geographic regions, including eastern Canada, Gulf South, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-Central, Midwest, Mountain West, Northeast, Pacific West, South, Southeast and Western Canada, among others. The trench safety, power and HVAC, and pump solutions segment includes the rental of specialty construction products and related services. It offers approximately 3,300 classes of equipment on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis to construction and industrial companies, manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners, Government entities and other customers.


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Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 2/7

  1. Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 - FAIL
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years - FAIL
  4. Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years - FAIL
  5. Earnings Growth – earnings per share has increased by at least 1/3 over the last 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end of period - FAIL
  6. Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 - PASS
  7. Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 - FAIL

Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 2/5

  1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 - FAIL
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 - FAIL
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years - PASS
  4. Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend - FAIL
  5. Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago - PASS

Valuation Summary

Key Data:

Recent Price $81.78
MG Value $173.84
MG Opinion Undervalued
Value Based on 3% Growth $65.47
Value Based on 0% Growth $38.38
Market Implied Growth Rate 4.81%
Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$94.21
PEmg 18.11
Current Ratio 0.93
PB Ratio 5.42

Balance Sheet – March 2015

Current Assets $1,452,000,000
Current Liabilities $1,555,000,000
Total Debt $7,482,000,000
Total Assets $12,282,000,000
Intangible Assets $4,296,000,000
Total Liabilities $10,788,000,000
Outstanding Shares 99,100,000

Earnings Per Share

2015 (estimate) $6.65
2014 $5.15
2013 $3.64
2012 $0.79
2011 $1.38
2010 -$0.44
2009 -$1.02
2008 -$12.62
2007 $3.25
2006 $2.06
2005 $1.80

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham

2015 (estimate) $4.52
2014 $3.00
2013 $1.57
2012 -$0.43
2011 -$1.33
2010 -$2.37

Dividend History
United Rentals Inc. does not pay a dividend.


United Rentals Inc. (URI) does not qualify for either the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, the lack of dividends, the insufficient earnings growth or stability over the last ten years, and the high PB ratios.  The Enterprising Investor is concerned with the level of debt relative to the current assets and the lack of dividends.  As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should explore other opportunities or proceed with a speculative attitude.  As for a valuation, the company appears to be undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from a loss of $1.33 in 2011 to an estimated gain of $4.52 for 2015.  This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 4.81% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years.  As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value well above the price.

The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company’s prospects.  What do you think?  What value would you put on United Rentals Inc. (URI)?  Where do you see the company going in the future?  Is there a company you like better?  Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.

Disclaimer:  The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  Logo taken from Wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.








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