Ashtead shares dip despite robust first-half earnings

Shares in equipment rental firm Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT) have fallen 3.9% this morning despite the company reporting strong growth in first-half earnings. Ashtead said pretax profit increased 5.0% to $1.25 billion in the six months to October 31, as revenue climbed 16% to $5.57 billion.

The FTSE 100 group benefited from “robust end markets,” especially in North America where demand remains healthy. Rental revenue, which accounts for most of Ashtead’s business, grew 13% year-over-year. Ashtead also raised its interim dividend by 5%.

Read More News:
Cornerstone FS shares jump 30% on bullish 2023 earnings outlook

However, shares dipped as investors reacted to the company recently lowering of full-year guidance on slower emergency response rentals and the impact of strikes in the film industry. Ashtead now expects 11-13% US rental growth this year, down from a prior 13-16% range.

Chief Executive Brendan Horgan said the business “continues to perform strongly” but acknowledged guidance cuts due to specific events. Over the last year, Ashtead shares have fallen 6% despite today’s “record first-half outturn.”