Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Pool (NASDAQ:POOL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

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 commented on POOL. BidaskClub cut Pool from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Jefferies Financial Group started coverage on Pool in a report on Friday, October 12th. They set a hold rating and a $145.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird dropped their target price on Pool from $163.00 to $155.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 19th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $157.20.

Shares of POOL traded up $0.98 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $152.21. 195,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 232,567. Pool has a 12 month low of $118.17 and a 12 month high of $175.87. The stock has a market cap of $5.96 billion, a PE ratio of 38.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 1.03. 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 announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The specialty retailer reported $1.66 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 firm had revenue of $811.31 million for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.16 EPS. Pool’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Pool will post 5.66 EPS for the current 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 issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.18%. Pool’s payout ratio is 45.11%.

In other Pool news, insider Arthur D. Cook sold 2,000 shares of Pool stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 55,357 shares in the company, valued at $8,912,477. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO De La Mesa Manuel J. Perez sold 40,000 shares of Pool stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 in the company, valued at approximately $9,732,872.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 70,766 shares of company stock worth $11,473,167. 6.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of POOL. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C grew its position in Pool by 131.3% in the third quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 768,102 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $128,181,000 after buying an additional 436,023 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Pool by 11.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,754,763 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $568,848,000 after buying an additional 370,948 shares during the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP grew its position in Pool by 317.8% in the third quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP now owns 240,628 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $40,168,000 after buying an additional 183,034 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors acquired a new position in Pool in the third quarter worth approximately $24,531,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in Pool by 26.4% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 606,971 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $91,957,000 after buying an additional 126,832 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.61% of the company’s stock.

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.

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