May 5, 2011
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.