H&E profits increase

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Baton Rouge-based H&E Equipment Services Inc. reported its first-quarter profit rose to $7.4 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to $4.8 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago.

The company, which sells, rents and services heavy equipment, saw revenues increase 11.7 percent to $237.2 million.

H&E beat the earnings and revenue forecasts of Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Analysts had predicted earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $228.9 million.

H&E Chief Executive Officer John Engquist said continued strength in rental and distribution services boosted results.

Despite “challenging weather conditions” earlier this year, rental revenue increased 14.4 percent to $86.2 million, while new equipment sales grew 30.4 percent to $69.5 million.