Essex Rental Corp.
May 4, 2009

Essex Rental Corp. Announces 2009 First Quarter Results

Company Reaffirms $0.90 - $1.20 After-Tax Free Cash Flow Per Share in 2009

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., May 4, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Essex Rental Corp. (OTCBB:HYDQ) (OTCBB:HYDQW) (OTCBB:HYDQU) ("Essex") today announced its unaudited consolidated results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. The following unaudited results are those of Essex Rental Corp. and its consolidated subsidiaries, including Essex Crane Rental Corp. ("Essex Crane"), its operating subsidiary, and provide a comparison of Essex's results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2009 to the corresponding results of Essex Crane for the three months ended March 31, 2008.

Essex's total rental related revenue for the first quarter of 2009, which included revenue from rentals, repairs and maintenance, and transportation services (but excluded used rental equipment sales), was $15.0 million compared to $17.2 million for Essex Crane's first quarter of 2008. The decrease in total rental related revenue was driven primarily by lower rental revenue of $12.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 as compared to $13.9 million in the prior year period. During the latter portion of the first quarter of 2009, Essex began to see a pick up in quoting activity to a level consistent with the same period last year. Historically, quoting activity has preceded actual bookings.

The average monthly crane rental rate increased 18.9% to $22,794 for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 from $19,163 for the same quarter in 2008. The increase in average rental rate reflected both rental rate increases and Essex's continuing efforts to optimize its fleet mix through the purchase of new, heavier lift cranes. The investment in these new heavier lift cranes is being partially financed through the sale of older lighter lift cranes. In the first quarter of 2009, Essex invested $8.6 million in new heavier lift cranes, replacing older cranes with lighter lift capacity, which typically have lower utilization and rental rates than the new heavier lift capacity cranes.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2009, the total number of crane rental days equaled 57.2% of the total available days, compared to 72.6% in the same period in 2008. The decline in utilization was partially offset by the 18.9% increase in average monthly crane rental rates.

Essex's total cost of revenues (excluding costs associated with used rental equipment sales and depreciation expense) was $4.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, down from $5.5 million for Essex Crane's first quarter ended March 31, 2008. Total cost of revenues (excluding costs associated with used rental equipment sales and depreciation expense) as a percentage of total revenues (excluding used rental equipment sales) were 29.5% for the first quarter of 2009 compared to 32.0% for the same prior year period.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $3.1 million or 20.7% of total revenues (excluding depreciation and amortization) for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 compared to $2.5 million, or 14.4% for Essex Crane's first quarter last year. The $600,000 increase in SG&A in the first quarter of 2009 was entirely attributable to public company expenses that did not exist in the prior year period during which Essex Crane was a privately held company.

Total EBITDA for Essex's first quarter ended March 31, 2009 was $7.8 million compared to $10.6 million for Essex Crane's first quarter ended March 31, 2008. Rental EBITDA was $7.7 million for Essex's first quarter ended March 31, 2009, as compared to $9.3 million for Essex Crane's first quarter ended March 31, 2008. Rental EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization generated in the ordinary course of business, and does not include the gain on sales of rental equipment. A reconciliation of Rental EBITDA to Income from Operations is included in the financial tables accompanying this release.

Rental revenue backlog declined to $20.6 million at March 31, 2009 from $30.3 million at December 31, 2008.

Management Comments on the First Quarter and Remainder of 2009

Ron Schad, President & CEO of Essex, stated, "The sluggish booking activity we experienced towards the end of the fourth quarter of 2008 continued through the first quarter of 2009, stemming from the difficult commercial credit environment and general economic uncertainty that affected our customers across the board. However, in the latter part of the first quarter of 2009, we started to experience a pick up in quoting activity to levels that were experienced in the same period of 2008. We anticipate an increase in bookings in the second half of 2009 as recent inquiry and quoting activity has led us to believe that orders are close to being released for infrastructure projects. This is specifically related to heavy highway work and other projects included in the Federal Stimulus Bill that targets many of our end markets."

Mr. Schad continued, "In the interim, we have slowed our capital expenditure program and implemented several cost cutting initiatives. This included reducing headcount, eliminating discretionary expenses wherever possible, decreasing the use of third party vendors that were performing maintenance on our cranes and reducing overtime and the associated expenses. We believe that these actions are prudent in light of the current macro-economic environment and will not detract from the long-term value of the business."

Mr. Schad concluded, "In order to take full advantage of our strategy to reposition our fleet towards higher lifting capacity cranes that generate higher rental and utilization rates, it is crucial to have access to liquidity when needed. At March 31, 2009, we had approximately $46.3 million of availability on our $190 million credit facility and believe in the predictability and visibility of our earnings stream and Essex's ability to generate strong free cash flow. Based on current market conditions and our rental revenue backlog of $30.3 million at 2008 year end, which was approximately 50% of 2008 rental revenue, we continue to target 15% to 20% after tax free cash flow (computed after deducting all interest, cash taxes, and both maintenance and growth capital expenditures) on invested equity of over $80 million which equates to after tax free cash flow of $0.90 to $1.20 per share."

Conference Call

Essex's management team will conduct a conference call to discuss the operating results tomorrow, May 5, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. ET. Interested parties may participate in the call by dialing 706-902-1803. Please call in 10 minutes before the call is scheduled to begin, and ask for the Essex call (conference ID# 95872107).

The conference call will also be webcast live via the Investor Relations section ("Events and Presentations") of the Essex Rental Corp. website at www.essexcrane.com. To listen to the live call, please go to the website at least 15 minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. If you are unable to listen live, the conference call will be archived on the website.

About Essex Rental Corp.

Headquartered outside of Chicago, Essex Rental Corp. is one of North America's largest providers of lattice-boom crawler crane and attachment rental services. With over 350 cranes and attachments in its fleet, Essex supplies cranes for construction projects related to power generation, petro-chemical, refineries, water treatment & purification, bridges, highways, hospitals, shipbuilding, offshore oil fabrication, industrial plants and commercial construction.

This press release contains statements which constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Those statements include statements regarding the intent and belief or current expectations of Essex and its management team. These statements may be identified by the use of words like "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "will", "should", "seek" and similar expressions. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Essex expectations include, without limitation, the continued ability of Essex to successfully execute its business plan, demand for the products and services the Essex provides (through its subsidiary, Essex Crane), general economic conditions, geopolitical events and regulatory changes, as well as other relevant risks detailed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Essex Rental undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements for any reason, even if new information becomes available or other events occur in the future.

This press release includes references to Rental EBITDA, an unaudited financial measure of performance which is not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. While management believes that the presentation of Rental EBITDA serves to enhance understanding of Essex's and Essex Crane's operating performance, Rental EBITDA should be considered in addition to, but not as substitutes for, or more meaningful than, income from operations, the most directly comparable GAAP measures, as an indicator of Essex's and Essex Crane's operating performance. Rental EBITDA has been presented as a supplemental disclosure because EBITDA is a widely used measure of performance and basis for valuation. A reconciliation of Rental EBITDA to income from operations is included in the financial tables accompanying this release.



                           Essex Rental Corp.
                 Consolidated Statements of Operations
                              (Unaudited)

                                        Successor          Predecessor
                                 ------------------------  -----------
                                                          Three Months
                                      Three months            Ended
                                     Ended March 31         March 31,
                                 ------------------------  -----------
                                     2009         2008        2008
                                 (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)
                                 ------------------------  -----------
 REVENUES
  Equipment rentals              $12,220,362  $        --  $13,899,920
  Used rental equipment sales      2,020,071           --    2,907,889
  Transportation                   1,392,675           --    1,912,342
  Equipment repairs and
   maintenance                     1,405,735           --    1,341,100
                                 ------------------------  -----------
 TOTAL REVENUES                   17,038,843           --   20,061,251


 COST OF REVENUES
  Salaries, payroll taxes and
   benefits                        1,699,411           --    1,910,728
  Depreciation                     2,768,205           --    2,072,610
  Net book value of rental
   equipment sold                  1,722,235           --    1,495,233
  Transportation                   1,048,464           --    1,642,578
  Equipment repair and
   maintenance                     1,265,411           --    1,474,379
  Yard operating expenses            415,416           --      455,373
                                 ------------------------  -----------
 TOTAL COST OF REVENUES            8,919,142           --    9,050,901


 GROSS PROFIT                      8,119,701           --   11,010,350
  Selling, general and
   administrative expenses         3,105,730      149,157    2,464,189
  Other depreciation and
   amortization                      210,378           --       31,389
                                 ------------------------  -----------


 INCOME (LOSS) FROM OPERATIONS     4,803,593     (149,157)   8,514,772

 OTHER INCOME (EXPENSES)
  Other income, net -
   insurance recoveries              191,539           --       55,519
  Interest income                         33      505,928           --
  Interest expense                (1,679,719)          --   (2,368,621)
  Interest rate swap                      --           --   (2,925,999)
                                 ------------------------  -----------
 TOTAL OTHER INCOME (EXPENSES)    (1,488,147)     505,928   (5,239,101)
                                 ------------------------  -----------

 INCOME BEFORE TAXES                3,315,446     356,771    3,275,671

 PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES         1,265,423     105,700    1,256,663
                                 ------------------------  -----------

 NET INCOME                      $ 2,050,023  $   251,071  $ 2,019,008
                                 ========================  ===========

 Weighted average shares
   outstanding:
   Basic and diluted              14,108,099   15,750,000
                                 ========================
 Net income per share:
   Basic and diluted             $      0.15  $      0.02
                                 ========================
 Note:

 (1) On October 31, 2008, Essex Rental Corp. consummated the
     acquisition of Essex Holdings LLC, and its wholly owned
     subsidiary, Essex Crane Rental Corp. (collectively,
     "Predecessor").




                                           Three Months  Three Months
                                               Ended         Ended
                                              March 31,     March 31,
                                            ------------  ------------
                                                2009          2008
                                            ------------  ------------
  Average crane rental rate per month       $     22,794  $     19,163

  Utilization Statistics - Cranes
     "Days" Method Utilization                      57.2%         72.6%
     "Hits" Method Utilization                      62.5%         76.7%
  (See definitions in the proxy
   statement filed with SEC)





               Reconciliation of Income from Operations
                   to Total EBITDA and Rental EBITDA
                              (Unaudited)

                                            Three Months  Three Months
                                               Ended         Ended
                                              March 31,     March 31,
                                            ------------  ------------
                                                2009          2008
                                             (Unaudited)  (Unaudited)
                                            ------------  ------------
  Income from Operations                    $  4,803,593  $  8,514,772
     Add: Depreciation                         2,768,205     2,072,610
     Add: Goodwill impairment                         --            --
     Add: Other depreciation and
      amortization                               210,378        31,389
                                            ------------  ------------
  Total EBITDA                              $  7,782,176  $ 10,618,771
     Minus: Used rental equipment
      sales                                   (2,020,071)   (2,907,889)
     Add: Net book value of rental
      equipment sold                           1,722,235     1,495,233
                                            ------------  ------------
     Add: Other income net insurance
      recoveries                                 191,539        55,519
                                            ------------  ------------
  Rental EBITDA                             $  7,675,879  $  9,261,634





                           Essex Rental Corp.
                      Consolidated Balance Sheets
                              (Unaudited)

                                               As of         As of
                                              March 31,   December 31,
                                            ------------  ------------
                                                2009          2008
                                              (Unaudited)
                                            ------------  ------------
 CURRENT ASSETS
  Cash and cash equivalents                 $    204,129  $    139,000
  Accounts receivable, net                     8,087,130    11,350,561
  Other receivables                            3,346,713     3,167,773
  Deferred tax assets                          2,078,185     1,859,071
  Prepaid expenses & other assets                856,459       440,879
                                            ------------  ------------
   TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS                       14,572,656    16,957,284

  Rental equipment, net                      260,390,943   255,692,116
  Property & equipment, net                    7,876,865     8,176,143
  Spare parts inventory, net                   3,479,767     3,276,858
  Intangible assets, net                       3,087,505     3,518,667
  Loan acquisition costs, net                  2,268,364     2,377,442
                                            ------------  ------------
 TOTAL ASSETS                               $291,676,100  $289,998,510
                                            ============  ============

           LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

 CURRENT LIABILITIES
  Accounts payable                          $  2,109,026  $  2,510,564
  Accrued employee compensation and
   benefits                                      697,681     2,160,960
  Accrued taxes                                5,666,239     5,203,485
  Accrued interest                               342,840       440,667
  Accrued other expenses                       2,119,896     1,390,864
  Unearned rental revenue                      1,447,035     2,176,906
                                            ------------  ------------
     TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES                12,382,717    13,883,446

 LONG-TERM LIABILITIES
  Revolving credit facility                  137,819,404   137,377,921
  Deferred tax liabilities                    63,734,115    63,266,773
  Interest rate swap                           3,713,132     3,424,613
                                            ------------  ------------
     TOTAL LONG-TERM LIABILITIES             205,266,651   204,069,307
                                            ------------  ------------
 TOTAL LIABILITIES                           217,649,368   217,952,753

 STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:
   Preferred stock, $.0001 par value,
    authorized 1,000,000 shares,
    none issued                                       --            --
   Common stock, $.0001 par value,
    authorized 40,000,000 shares;
    issued and outstanding 14,108,186
    shares at March 31, 2009 and
    14,106,886 shares at December 31,
    2008, respectively                             1,411         1,410
   Paid in capital                            84,493,615    84,383,579

   Accumulated deficit                        (8,168,380)  (10,218,403)

   Accumulated other comprehensive
    loss, net of tax                          (2,299,914)   (2,120,829)
                                            ------------  ------------
     TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY               74,026,732    72,045,757
                                            ------------  ------------
 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS'
  EQUITY                                    $291,676,100  $289,998,510
                                            ============  ============

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com

SOURCE: Essex Rental Corp.

Essex Rental Corp.
          Martin Kroll, Chief Financial Officer
          (847) 215-6502
          mkroll@essexcrane.com

          The Equity Group Inc.
          Investor Relations:
          Melissa Dixon, Senior Account Executive
            (212) 836-9613
            mdixon@equityny.com
          Devin Sullivan, Senior Vice President
            (212) 836-9608
            dsullivan@equityny.com

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