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What: Shares of H&E Equipment Services (Nasdaq: HEES) soared more than 18% in early trading after the company substantially beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates.

So what: Revenue increased 26.8% to $174.6 million. Net losses equaled $0.07 a share, down sharply from last year's $0.35 loss. Analysts were expecting a $0.15 per-share loss on $138.12 in revenue, according to data supplied by Yahoo! Finance.

Now what: H&E said gains in its core business of renting industrial equipment such as cranes and earthmovers aided results. But it was new equipment sales that provided the largest growth catalyst. Sales of new equipment rose 71.7% year-over-year and 32.8% sequentially.

Management's outlook is equally encouraging. CEO John Engquist suggested in a statement that a recovery in key areas of the construction market should continue to fuel demand.

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