Ashtead shares pop on the back of US peer's strong results

 
Jessica Morris
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Ashtead Group was lifted by a solid set of financial results from its US peer United Rentals.

The UK equipment rental company became the FTSE 100's biggest riser today, as its shares swelled 4.4 per cent to a one-year high in early morning trading.

Read more: Ashtead builds on a set of good results

United Rentals' second quarter adjusted earnings per share came in at $2.06, ahead of analysts expectations for $1.82. Stifel analysts said a key takeaway its results was improved rental rates, which have also been a concern or Ashtead.

Michael Kneeland, United Rentals' chief executive, said: "During our second quarter, we were pleased with the positive progression on monthly rental rates, which we attribute to the combined impact of our internal initiatives and solid growth in several of our core US markets."

He continued: "Based on what we saw through the mid-year, and what we hear from the field, we continue to expect our business to improve seasonally and cyclically."

Read more: Ashtead thanks recovering construction markets for record profits

"While we remain mindful of the elevated uncertainty towards the direction of the global economy, we also know that we have considerable flexibility in operating our business to address changing market dynamics."

The two firms' fortunes are closely tied. In April, Ashtead shares came under pressure, despite its own positive update due, to a warning from United Rentals.

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