Essex Rental Corp. (Nasdaq: ESSX) ("Essex") today announced its unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.
First Quarter 2012 Highlights
- Average monthly crawler crane rental rates increased by $717 to $16,233 for the three month period ended March 31, 2012 from $15,516 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Excluding the impact of the levee project that was active in 2011, utilization of crawler cranes increased to 37.0% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 33.9% in the first quarter of 2011;
- Utilization of our rough terrain fleet was 54.8%, which represented a sequential quarterly increase in utilization of 3.0%;
- Utilization of larger tower cranes and elevator lifts improved by 10.6% on a sequential quarterly basis and on certain tower crane sub-classes utilization is above 60.0%;
- New, used and rental equipment sales totaled $6.2 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2012, a 50.8% increase from $4.1 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011; and
- Revolving debt balances have decreased by $4.0 million over the three months ended March 31, 2012, in part, due to $5.3 million of rental equipment sales at an average of 110.3% of Orderly Liquidation Value (“OLV”).
Ron Schad, President and CEO of Essex stated, “During the first quarter of 2012 we continued to see positive trends in our rental and service segments. Rental rates remain stable and, in certain asset types including heavy lift rough terrain equipment and certain crawler crane classes we have achieved utilization levels that provide us the opportunity to increase rental rates. We achieved sequential quarterly increases in the utilization of many of our equipment classes, including our rough terrain and large tower crane fleets. We are experiencing increased demand from energy and petrochemical related customers located in the Gulf Coast region, central California and in the Pacific Northwest. We were pleased with the level of rental fleet asset sales, particularly of non-core assets including aerial work platforms and forklifts that were acquired as part of the Coast acquisition. Proceeds from these sales were used to reduce our debt balance and in the future may be used to acquire new equipment in asset classes that are experiencing higher utilization levels. Both our improving utilization trends and progress in our rental asset sale program have continued into our second quarter. The implementation of the new IT system at Coast has allowed us to proactively manage this business unit more effectively and in conjunction with increased utilization we experienced a meaningful improvement in Coast’s operating performance in the first quarter of 2012.”