Consumer demand and relocation to Southern states fuels 35% annual growth
Even as the company announced record sales for 2021, Pool Corporation President and CEO Peter Arvan cautioned that chemicals and computer chip-based equipment will remain areas of concern for the pool and spa industry.
“Chemicals will continue to be tight, and the products that contain computer chips, such as automation and some variable-speed pumps, will remain challenged,” Arvan said in his fourth quarter report to stockholders.
Arvan’s comments were included in his February 17 fourth quarter earnings teleconference, in which the Covington, Louisiana-based distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products reported robust fourth quarter and full year 2021 results.
“I am thrilled to announce that, for the first time in our company’s history, we surpassed annual sales of $5.0 billion, including $1.0 billion of sales in the fourth quarter,” Arvin said. “This tremendous accomplishment is a testament to the unwavering dedication of the POOLCORP team to serve our customers and help them grow their businesses.”
Arvin announced that Pool Corporation (stock ticker symbol “POOL”) had capped off an extraordinary year with record fourth quarter net sales of $1 billion as well as record annual net sales of $5.3 billion, compared to $3.9 million in 2020, an increase of 35 percent. Further, the company announced record adjusted earnings per share of $15.97, compared to $8.42 in 2020, up 78 percent.
Sales were driven by a strong customer demand for outdoor living products throughout the year, warmer weather trends across most of the U.S., a COVID-accelerated movement to the suburbs as well as overall southern migration, and the company benefited from inflation.
In terms of product sales performance, the company witnessed a solid demand for heaters, automation products, and variable-speed pumps leading this category’s growth. Also, strong growth in terms of maintenance, repair, and construction activities added to the upside.
The company stated that the year presented many obstacles, including consistently elevated consumer demand alongside historic supplychain disruptions. However, moving forward, Arvan said that supply chains are improving and that this year, their inventory is significantly better than it was last year.
In its fourth quarter investor letter, Carillon Tower Advisers, a global asset-management company, said the following about Pool Corporation: “Pool (Corporation) is the world’s largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products. The stock continues to be an impressive performer, as the company reported yet another quarterly update that exceeded investor expectations.
The current strong housing market and positive migration trends toward the Sunbelt have resulted in healthy underlying fundamentals for the pool industry.
Additionally, consumers have shown a clear desire to invest in their outdoor living and entertainment spaces, resulting in robust demand for the firm’s products.”
At press time, Zacks Rank, a stock picking tool that classifies stocks into five groups, ranging from “Strong Buy” to “Strong Sell” ranks POOL as Number 2 to – “Buy.”