Business Roundup: Komatsu acquires Quadco, Southstar attachments; Cat 2017 sales up 18%; United Rentals 2017 revenue up 15%; SDLG adds new dealer; Benck becomes first AED chairwoman

Diane Benck becomes first chairwoman of Associated Equipment Distributors

Diane Benck – known for her strong advocacy for the equipment industry and for enhancing technician training – has been named chairwoman of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED).

Benck, of Illinois, is the first woman to lead the international organization, and she received rousing applause during her appointment at the recent AED Summit in Las Vegas.

She replaces outdoing Chairman Wes Stowers, president of Stowers Machinery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Benck and her two brothers own West Side Tractor Sales in Naperville, Illinois. The dealership has 10 locations serving more than 80 counties in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.


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TransSource Truck & Equipment now an SDLG dealer

SDLG has named TranSource Truck & Equipment its dealer in South Dakota.

TranSource is the new name of a Sioux Falls-based company that recently acquired the assets of the former Sheehan Mack Sales and Equipment.

TranSource is assuming Sheehan’s employees, physical property and territory and is co-owned by Larry Clement a 30-year Sheehan partner, and Dan and James Bland, who own multiple truck dealerships in North Carolina, operating as TranSource Truck & Trailer.


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United Rentals revenue up 15% in 2017 as company ends year with big 4Q

United Rentals saw total revenue climb 26 percent to $1.922 billion during the fourth quarter, capping off what CEO Michael Kneeland called “a year of record results.”

Rental revenue for the quarter was up 27 percent to $1.646 billion with time utilization increasing 70 basis points to 70 percent over 4Q 2016. Trench, Power and Pump rental revenue increased by 39 percent over 4Q 2016.

Net income for the quarter shot from $153 million to $897 million ($10.45 per diluted share) due to a $689 million benefit associated with the tax reform bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.


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Caterpillar sales jump 18% in 2017 with 4Q surge

Caterpillar announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2017 sales Thursday, reporting a 35-percent increase in sales for the quarter and an 18-percent increase in sales for the year.

Cat’s 4Q sales climbed from $9.6 billion a year ago to $12.9 billion in 2017. Despite the strong sales, the company still posted a loss per share of $2.18 during the quarter. However, Cat places the adjusted profit per share at $2.16. This adjustment accounts for “mark-to-market losses for remeasurement of pension and OPEB plans, state deferred tax valuation allowance adjustments, a gain on sale of an equity investment in 2017 and a goodwill impairment charge in 2016,” and the positive impact of the tax reform bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.

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Full year sales rose to $45.5 billion, while profit shot from $139 million in 2016 to $4.1 billion in 2017. Profit per share rose from a loss of 11 cents in 2016 to $1.26 per share. Adjusted profit per share for the year was $6.88.


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Komatsu expands forestry business with acquisition of Quadco, Southstar attachments

Komatsu announced Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Prenbec Equipment to purchase the Quadco and Southstar brands of forestry attachments from that Quebec, Canada-based company.

The deal, financial details of which Komatsu did not disclose, does not include the Tanguay and Forespro delimbers. The deal will be completed through a Komatsu subsidiary, is expected to close in February and will likely have no meaningful impact on Komatsu’s current fiscal year, which closes March 31, Komatsu says.

Komatsu says the deal’s roots stretch back to 2016 when the company decided to expand its forestry attachment business as part of a three-year mid-range management plan. Komatsu says it sees the global market for forestry machines and attachments “continuing to grow at a rapid rate,” particularly in North America, where Full Tree Length logging—which employs a felling head attached to a base machine and a skidder—is the dominant method.


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