Pool (POOL) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pool (NASDAQ:POOL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $185.00 target price on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Pool have outperformed the industry in a year’s time. In fact, third-quarter 2018 marked the 33rd consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth for Pool. Top-line growth can be primarily attributed to improved performance of its base business. Notably, the company should continue benefiting in the near term, backed by base business sales growth and favorable trends in the housing market. Pool also raised its full-year guidance. In addition, continuous growth in remodel and replacement sectors of its business is a major positive. The company’s leading market share position and opportunistic expansion strategies position it well for revenue growth. Nonetheless, seasonality of Pool’s business and macroeconomic headwinds due to expanded global presence create headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on POOL. BidaskClub raised shares of Pool from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on shares of Pool in a research report on Friday, October 12th. They issued a hold rating and a $145.00 price target for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird lowered their price target on shares of Pool from $163.00 to $155.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $160.40.

Shares of POOL opened at $152.41 on Wednesday. Pool has a fifty-two week low of $123.88 and a fifty-two week high of $175.87. The company has a market capitalization of $6.30 billion, a PE ratio of 28.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 3.29 and a quick ratio of 1.18.

Pool (NASDAQ:POOL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The specialty retailer reported $1.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.08. Pool had a net margin of 8.21% and a return on equity of 78.04%. The firm had revenue of $811.31 million during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.16 EPS. Pool’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Pool will post 5.66 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 29th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th were given a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.18%. Pool’s payout ratio is presently 45.11%.

In related news, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 10,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $160.98, for a total transaction of $1,658,094.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 69,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,107,780.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 20,448 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.28, for a total transaction of $3,318,301.44. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 69,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,197,482.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 6.00% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its position in Pool by 22.1% during the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 66,298 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $10,044,000 after acquiring an additional 12,017 shares during the last quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC lifted its position in Pool by 23.0% during the third quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 30,828 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $5,145,000 after acquiring an additional 5,755 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Pool by 17.4% in the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 650,811 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $98,598,000 after buying an additional 96,678 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Pool by 3.9% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 327,943 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $49,683,000 after buying an additional 12,293 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Twin Tree Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Pool in the third quarter worth $1,560,000. 94.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Pool Company Profile

Pool Corporation distributes swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products in North America, Europe, South America, and Australia. The company offers maintenance products, including chemicals, supplies, and pool accessories; repair and replacement parts for pool equipment, such as cleaners, filters, heaters, pumps, and lights; packaged pool kits comprising walls, liners, braces, and coping for in-ground and above-ground pools; pool equipment and components for new pool construction and the remodeling of existing pools; and irrigation and landscape products consisting of irrigation system components, and professional lawn care equipment and supplies.

Further Reading: Technical Analysis

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