March 1, 2012 / 1:01 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-H&E Equipment Services 4th-qtr tops estimates

* Q4 EPS $0.23 vs est $0.08

* Q4 rev $217 mln vs est $182.9 mln

* New equipment sales up 37 pct

* Used equipment sales up 21 pct

* Equipment rental rev up 21 pct

March 1 (Reuters) - H&E Equipment Services, which sells and rents out cranes, posted quarterly results that blew past analysts' expectations, helped by double-digit growth in all its segments.

For the fourth quarter, the company's earnings rose to $7.9 million, or 23 cents a share, from a loss of $2.5 million, or 7 cents a share, last year.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 8 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose by nearly a fourth to $217 million, well ahead of the $182.9 million analysts expected.

"Our distribution business, particularly new equipment sales, far exceeded our expectations for the quarter," Chief Executive John Engquist said in a statement.

H&E, which also deals in earthmoving equipment and industrial lift trucks, said increased activity in oil and gas and related industries contributed to the performance.

New equipment sales rose 37 percent to $86.6 million, while equipment rental revenue and used equipment sales rose by 21 percent each.

The effective income tax rate was 26.0 percent in the quarter, compared with 37.9 percent last year.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company's shares, which have gained 154 percent in value since touching a year-low in October, closed at $17.29 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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