H&E Equipment posts profit

H&E Equipment Services Inc., of Baton Rouge, earned more in the fourth quarter of 2012 — $10.7 million, or 31 cents per share — than it did in all of 2011, the company reported Tuesday.

The heavy equipment provider’s fourth-quarter 2011 earnings were $7.9 million, or 23 cents per share, and full-year earnings for 2011 were $8.9 million, or 26 cents per share.

The full-year earnings for 2012 came in at $28.8 million, or 83 cents per share.

Fourth-quarter 2012 revenue increased 15.3 percent to $250.1 million.

H&E’s fourth-quarter results easily outstripped the forecasts of stock analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected a profit of 8 cents per share on revenue of $230.4 million for the fourth quarter.

In a news release, Chief Executive Officer John Engquist said the high demand for rental equipment helped boost the company’s fourth-quarter results.

Rental revenue increased 28.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $80.7 million, he said.

H&E also was able to charge more for its rental equipment, as average rental rates increased 10.1 percent over the same period a year ago.

Despite its report, H&E’s stock closed down 75 cents, or 3.8 percent, Tuesday at $19.10.