Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pool (NASDAQ:POOL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $169.00 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.”

POOL has been the subject of several other research reports. BidaskClub cut Pool from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on Pool in a research note on Friday, October 12th. They set a hold rating and a $145.00 target price for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on Pool from $163.00 to $155.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $157.20.

Shares of NASDAQ POOL opened at $154.53 on Thursday. Pool has a 1-year low of $118.94 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. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.73, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.03.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.16%. Pool’s dividend payout ratio is currently 45.11%.

In related news, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.52, for a total transaction of $6,460,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 60,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,732,872.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Arthur D. Cook sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.00, for a total value of $322,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 55,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,912,477. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 70,766 shares of company stock valued at $11,473,167 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 6.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its holdings in shares of Pool by 0.4% during the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 89,087 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $13,497,000 after purchasing an additional 316 shares during the last quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Pool by 5.2% during the third quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 7,480 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,248,000 after purchasing an additional 370 shares during the last quarter. GAM Holding AG lifted its holdings in shares of Pool by 23.2% during the third quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 2,074 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $346,000 after purchasing an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Pool by 7.4% during the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 5,764 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $873,000 after purchasing an additional 399 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Pool by 57.1% during the second quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 1,100 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $167,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. 94.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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