Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, July 25th. The brokerage presently has a $119.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.78% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Pool Corp.’s shares outperformed the industry in the last one year. The company’s second-quarter 2017 earnings of $2.21 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.3% but rose 11.6% year over year (y/y) on higher revenues. Net sales of $988.2 million outpaced estimates by 0.6% and surged 8% y/y, mainly driven by a 7% growth in base business sales. Moreover, ongoing recovery in the remodel and replacement sectors of its business, and consistent market share gains bolstered results. Pool is expected to continue gaining in the near term due to favorable trends in the housing market and consumer discretionary spending. Given the non-discretionary nature of majority of its Blue Business products, continued growth of the installed base and Pool’s leading market position, we expect consistent sales growth. Yet, seasonality of its business along with macroeconomic headwinds owing to its large global presence raises concern.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Johnson Rice upgraded Pool Corporation from an “accumulate” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. BidaskClub cut Pool Corporation from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, July 16th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $128.00 price objective on shares of Pool Corporation in a report on Friday, April 7th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $125.67.

Shares of Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) traded down 0.86% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $106.46. The company had a trading volume of 223,730 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.39 billion, a PE ratio of 27.67 and a beta of 0.91. The company’s 50-day moving average is $111.80 and its 200-day moving average is $116.52. Pool Corporation has a 1-year low of $88.65 and a 1-year high of $124.26.

Pool Corporation (NASDAQ:POOL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The specialty retailer reported $2.21 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.24 by $0.03. Pool Corporation had a net margin of 6.15% and a return on equity of 63.34%. The business had revenue of $988.16 million during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.98 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Pool Corporation will post $4.21 EPS for the current year.

Pool Corporation declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, May 3rd that permits the company to buyback $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the specialty retailer to purchase up to 3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in POOL. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Pool Corporation by 12,429.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,260,758 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $389,106,000 after buying an additional 3,234,733 shares during the period. Congress Asset Management Co. MA boosted its stake in shares of Pool Corporation by 7,689.4% in the first quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA now owns 510,281 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $60,892,000 after buying an additional 503,730 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Pool Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at about $36,100,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Pool Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $35,589,000. Finally, Columbia Wanger Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Pool Corporation by 188.9% in the first quarter. Columbia Wanger Asset Management LLC now owns 390,336 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $46,579,000 after buying an additional 255,229 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.85% of the company’s stock.

Pool Corporation Company Profile

Pool Corporation is a distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment and related leisure products. The Company is a distributor of irrigation and landscape products in the United States. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 344 sales centers in North America, Europe, South America and Australia, through its four distribution networks, including SCP Distributors (SCP), Superior Pool Products (Superior), Horizon Distributors (Horizon) and National Pool Tile (NPT).

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