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 research report released on Wednesday morning. The firm 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.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Pool from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Jefferies Financial Group initiated coverage on shares of Pool in a research note on Friday, October 12th. They issued a hold rating and a $145.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut their price objective on shares of Pool from $163.00 to $155.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Pool presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $160.40.

NASDAQ:POOL opened at $152.41 on Wednesday. The firm 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. Pool has a 1-year low of $123.88 and a 1-year high of $175.87. The company has a current ratio of 3.29, a quick ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53.

Pool (NASDAQ:POOL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The specialty retailer reported $1.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $811.31 million for the quarter. Pool had a net margin of 8.21% and a return on equity of 78.04%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.16 EPS. Research analysts predict that Pool will post 5.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In related news, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 10,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the chief executive officer now owns 69,001 shares in the company, valued at $11,107,780.98. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 20,448 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 owns 69,001 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,197,482.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Pool by 1.7% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,392,184 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $566,088,000 after buying an additional 57,784 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in Pool by 175.9% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 173,252 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $28,913,000 after purchasing an additional 110,457 shares in the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group lifted its holdings in Pool by 16,320.5% during the third quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 51,232 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $307,000 after purchasing an additional 50,920 shares in the last quarter. Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC purchased a new position in Pool during the third quarter valued at $100,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Pool by 4.7% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 52,542 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $8,768,000 after purchasing an additional 2,350 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.54% of the company’s stock.

About Pool

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.

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