May 23, 2024


Marsh Gas

COVID-19 lifestyle changes help Pentair’s pool business nearly double in size


Pentair’s pool equipment and supplies business has nearly doubled in revenue and profit in the past four years, especially since more people started focusing on at-home recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the company — headquartered in England but run from Golden Valley — has reorganized its financial accounting and will add the pool business as a separate unit. Currently, the company has two units: water solutions, which includes the pool business, and industrial and flow technologies.

Pool sales grew 20% in the second quarter, and long-term trends support the business going forward, Robert Fishman, Pentair’s chief financial officer, told analysts Tuesday during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

“The pandemic changed consumer behaviors early on. Whether it is moving to warmer climates, investing in the overall backyard or the emergence of new traveling like Airbnb, consumers are using pools more and more,” he said.

The pending $1.6 billion acquisition of Manitowoc Ice, part of the water solutions business, also led to the decision. The maker of ice machines for the food-service industry going forward will be a big portion of the remaining water solutions segment.

For the second quarter ended June 30, the company earned $152.9 million, or 92 cents a share, on sales that grew 13% to $1.06 billion.

Earnings per share grew 16% from the second quarter of 2021, and adjusted EPS grew 10.9% to $1.02 a share after accounting for certain restructuring and transformation costs. Adjusted EPS and revenue slightly exceeded analyst expectations.

Consumer solutions unit sales grew 19% during the quarter to $682.2 million, while the industrial and flow unit grew 3.7% to $363.9 million.

The Manitowoc Ice deal is set to close this week, Pentair said. The two companies had expected the acquisition to close in the second quarter, but regulatory approvals took longer than expected.

The company became a pure-play water company in 2018 when it spun off nVent Electric. Two years before that it sold its $3 billion valves and controls unit to Emerson.

Not counting the Manitowoc deal, the company since has made about $615 million worth of acquisitions since the spinoff.

Pentair shares closed Tuesday at $48.04, up 2.3%.

Ecolab reports a flat quarter

St. Paul-based Ecolab reported that profits were essentially flat in the second quarter. The company reported net income of $308.3 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with $310.8 million, or $1.08 a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue grew 13% to $3.6 billion.

During the quarter Ecolab accelerated some of its pricing actions and instituted a global energy surcharge, which will help the company’s margins for the remainder of the year.

“With the global energy surcharge mechanism implemented, total pricing is expected to accelerate further to keep us ahead of inflation, resulting in easing year-over-year margin pressure going forward,” the company said in its earnings release.

Ecolab shares closed at $158.37, down 2.7%.


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