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On Wednesday 10 December Ashtead is expected to release its second-quarter figures. The adjusted earnings per share are forecast to improve from £0.153 up to £0.167. Sales are also expected to improve, climbing to £494.5 million from £457.9 million. On the back of these improvements, the pre-tax profits are also set to rise from £117.5 million up to £139.5 million.
The international equipment rental company has continued to impress, and of the sixteen institutional analysts following the company11 are strong buys, four are buys and one is a hold.
The support that institutions offer the company has come from its exposure to the US markets. Around 85% of annual revenues come from its US subsidiary company Sunbelt rentals, and this has benefited from the more solid recovery going on in the US. Not only has this underlying market been strong, but Ashtead has also increased its market share.
With a track record of beating expectations and with the majority of its revenues coming from the US, arguably the strongest economic region at the moment, this looks like a company that should continue to impress both the markets and investors. Only a break below the supportive 50- (1015p) and 100-day moving averages (987p) would momentarily dent my opinion that this company will continue to hit higher highs.