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H&E Equipment Services Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Two months after surging on surprisingly strong fourth-quarter results, industrial-equipment renter H&E Equipment Services (Nasdaq: HEES  ) saw its shares fall as much as 11% this morning after reporting worse-than-expected Q1 financials.

So what: Revenue rose by 17.6% to $134.9 million as H&E cut its net loss from $0.35 a share in last year's Q1 to $0.19 last quarter. Unfortunately, analysts were expecting much better numbers:  $143.09 million in revenue and a $0.13-per-share net loss, according to Yahoo! Finance data.

Now what: H&E's losses don't worry me as an investor. Neither Hertz Global (NYSE: HTZ  ) nor United Rentals (NYSE: URI  ) nor any other of H&E's rental competitors has recorded a GAAP profit over the past 12 months. But the stock still trades for a slight price-to-sales premium to both the industry at large and direct peers. My advice? Read Jim Mueller's buy report for Hertz and wait for H&E to trade for a substantial discount. With gas prices soaring, there's no reason to hurry into this stock.

Interested in more info on H&E Equipment Services? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. You can try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hertz Global and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is at least 10% better than other disclosure policies.

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