H&E Equipment Services Inc. reported a first-quarter profit of $4.2 million, or 11 cents per share, up from the $37 million loss, or $1.03 a share, it posted for the same period in 2020.
H&E fell short of Wall Street expectations for the quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate projected a quarterly profit of 14 cents a share.
Officials with the Baton Rouge-based heavy equipment sales and rental company, said Tuesday they were optimistic about business opportunities. Equipment rentals are considerably higher than they were in early March 2020, before COVID was an issue. Used equipment prices have gone up. Indexes that track architectural billings and nonresidential building are improving.
However, revenue from equipment rentals dropped from $174.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $156.2 million, a 10.5% decrease. Revenue from new equipment sales was up from $30.9 million in 2020 to $37.7 million, a 22.3% increase. Revenue from used equipment sales was up by 33.8% from $31.2 million to $41.8 million.
Total revenue for H&E dropped by 2.6% from $285.9 million to $278.4 million. Expenses related to sales, general and administrative costs fell by 7.1% from $79.6 million to $74 million.
Brad Barber, chief executive officer for H&E, blamed the severe winter storm that hit much of the country around Mardi Gras for the drop in revenue. The storm caused widespread power outages in Louisiana and Texas; Barber said about 40% of H&E’s 104 locations were closed for nearly a week.
Shares of H&E were down $1.41, or 3.5% in mid-morning trading at just under $39. Shares have gone up 35% since the beginning of the year. The stock has nearly tripled in the last 12 months.