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Pool Corporation Reports Record First Quarter Results and Increases 2021 Earnings Guidance


  • Record net sales for Q1 2021 with overall growth of 57% and 51% growth in base business
  • Record Q1 2021 operating income of $129.0 million, up 263% from Q1 2020 with a 690 basis point improvement in operating margin
  • Q1 2021 diluted EPS increase of 223% to a record $2.42, or an increase of 227% to $2.32, excluding tax benefits in both periods and non-cash impairments recorded in Q1 2020
  • Net cash provided by operations of $77.1 million, an increase of $57.4 million from the first three months of 2020
  • 2021 earnings guidance increased to $11.85 - $12.60 per diluted share from previous $9.12 - $9.62 range

COVINGTON, La., April 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pool Corporation (Nasdaq/GSM:POOL) today reported record results for the first quarter of 2021 and increased 2021 earnings guidance.

"What an incredible quarter, backed by an incredible team. We kicked off the year with truly remarkable results, including record net sales and phenomenal bottom line results. We achieved over $1.0 billion in net sales in the first quarter of 2021, a milestone in our company's history and a reflection of our focus on providing extraordinary customer service. Looking ahead at the remainder of the year, we expect to achieve strong growth tempered by tougher comps in the back half of the year. We are well-positioned to accomplish our strategic initiatives and have the right team in place to continue to build on our legacy of success," commented Peter D. Arvan, president and CEO.

In the first quarter of 2021, net sales increased 57% to a record $1.06 billion compared to $677.3 million in the first quarter of 2020, while base business sales grew 51%. Our sales have continued to benefit from elevated demand for residential pool products, driven by home-centric trends influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintenance, replacement, refurbishment and construction activity remains strong as families create and expand home-based outdoor living and entertainment spaces, resulting in broad sales gains across nearly all product categories.

Gross profit increased 59% to a record $301.1 million in the first quarter of 2021 from $189.6 million in the same period of 2020. Base business gross profit improved 54% over the first quarter of 2020. Gross margin increased 40 basis points to 28.4% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 28.0% in the first quarter of 2020. Gross margin was favorably impacted by improvements from supply chain initiatives and timing differences in customer early buy purchases year-over-year, which were partially offset by increased sales of lower margin, big-ticket items in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020.

Selling and administrative expenses (operating expenses) increased 12% to $172.1 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $154.0 million in the first quarter of 2020, reflecting an increase of $11.5 million in performance-based compensation expense and increases in other growth-driven costs. As a percentage of net sales, operating expenses decreased to 16.2% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 22.7% in the same period of 2020 due to strong expense control and our ability to leverage our existing network.

Operating income in the first quarter of 2021 increased 263% to $129.0 million compared to $35.6 million in the same period in 2020. Operating margin was 12.2% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 5.3% in the first quarter of 2020.

We recorded a $4.0 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, tax benefit from Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, in the quarter ended March 31, 2021, compared to a tax benefit of $8.0 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, realized in the same period of 2020.

Net income increased 219% to $98.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $30.9 million in the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted net income, excluding the prior year impact of non-cash impairments, net of tax, increased 165% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the prior year period. Earnings per diluted share increased 223% to $2.42 in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $0.75 in the same period of 2020. Excluding the impact from ASU 2016-09 in both periods and the impact of non-cash impairments, net of tax, in 2020, adjusted earnings per diluted share increased 227% to $2.32 in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $0.71 in the first quarter of 2020. See the reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures in the addendum of this release.

On the balance sheet at March 31, 2021, total net receivables, including pledged receivables, increased 41% compared to March 31, 2020, driven by our March sales growth and partially offset by improved collections. Inventory levels increased 14% to $977.2 million compared to March 31, 2020, reflecting organic business growth and inventory from recently acquired businesses of $55.5 million. Total debt outstanding was $433.2 million at March 31, 2021, a $152.9 million decrease from total debt at March 31, 2020, as we continue to utilize operating cash flows to decrease debt balances.

The increase in net income drove net cash provided by operations to $77.1 million in the first three months of 2021 compared to $19.7 million in the first three months of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA (as defined in the addendum to this release) was $140.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $53.4 million in the same period of the prior year. Interest expense decreased compared to last year primarily due to lower average debt levels and lower average interest rates.

"We believe that our industry-leading position, combined with strong demand trends and a solid backlog of projects, will benefit our results throughout the 2021 season. While we expect to face tougher year-over-year comparisons and potential industry capacity constraints as the year progresses, our outstanding results in the first quarter of 2021 and increased confidence in growth through the remainder of the year leads us to update our annual earnings guidance range to $11.85 to $12.60 per diluted share, including the impact of year-to-date tax benefits of $0.10. Our previous 2021 earnings guidance range was $9.12 to $9.62 per diluted share, including an estimated $0.11 tax benefit," said Arvan.

POOLCORP is the world's largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool and related backyard products. POOLCORP operates 400 sales centers in North America, Europe and Australia, through which it distributes more than 200,000 national brand and private label products to roughly 120,000 wholesale customers. For more information, please visit

This news release includes "forward-looking" statements that involve risks and uncertainties that are generally identifiable through the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "project," "should" and similar expressions and include projections of earnings. The forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur. Actual results may differ materially due to a variety of factors, including impacts on our business from the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which home-centric trends will continue, accelerate or reverse; the sensitivity of our business to weather conditions; changes in the economy and the housing market; our ability to maintain favorable relationships with suppliers and manufacturers; competition from other leisure product alternatives and mass merchants; our ability to continue to execute our growth strategies; excess tax benefits or deficiencies recognized under ASU 2016-09 and other risks detailed in POOLCORP's 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as updated by POOLCORP's subsequent filings with the SEC.

Curtis J. Scheel
Director of Investor Relations

Consolidated Statements of Income
(In thousands, except per share data)

 Three Months Ended
 March 31,
 2021 2020
Net sales$1,060,745  $677,288 
Cost of sales759,614  487,659 
Gross profit301,131  189,629 
Percent28.4% 28.0%
Selling and administrative expenses172,100  147,097 
Impairment of goodwill and other assets-  6,944 
Operating income129,031  35,588 
Percent12.2% 5.3%
Interest and other non-operating expenses, net2,582  4,789 
Income before income taxes and equity earnings126,449  30,799 
Income tax provision (benefit)27,869  (25)
Equity earnings in unconsolidated investments, net75  88 
Net income$98,655  $30,912 
Earnings per share:   
Basic$2.45  $0.77 
Diluted$2.42  $0.75 
Weighted average shares outstanding:   
Basic40,215  40,125 
Diluted40,846  40,955 
Cash dividends declared per common share$0.58  $0.55 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)

  March 31, March 31,  Change
  2021 2020  $ %
Current assets:          
 Cash and cash equivalents$27,078  $17,808  $9,270  52% 
 Receivables, net (1) 122,938   66,328   56,610  85  
 Receivables pledged under receivables facility 364,664   279,587   85,077  30  
 Product inventories, net (2) 977,228   858,190   119,038  14  
 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 25,390   16,465   8,925  54  
Total current assets 1,517,298   1,238,378   278,920  23  
Property and equipment, net 109,830   113,987   (4,157) (4) 
Goodwill 267,914   193,380   74,534  39  
Other intangible assets, net 11,854   9,832   2,022  21  
Equity interest investments 1,305   1,260   45  4  
Operating lease assets 209,036   174,653   34,383  20  
Other assets 24,456   16,291   8,165  50  
Total assets$2,141,693  $1,747,781  $393,912  23% 
Liabilities and stockholders' equity          
Current liabilities:          
 Accounts payable$634,998  $517,620  $117,378  23% 
 Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 134,670   62,614   72,056  115  
 Short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term debt 12,409   16,353   (3,944) (24) 
 Current operating lease liabilities 61,265   55,703   5,562  10  
Total current liabilities 843,342   652,290   191,052  29  
Deferred income taxes 31,134   30,464   670  2  
Long-term debt, net 420,762   569,697   (148,935) (26) 
Other long-term liabilities 38,945   26,470   12,475  47  
Non-current operating lease liabilities 149,582   120,462   29,120  24  
Total liabilities 1,483,765   1,399,383   84,382  6  
Total stockholders' equity 657,928   348,398   309,530  89  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity$2,141,693  $1,747,781  $393,912  23% 

(1)   The allowance for doubtful accounts was $4.7 million at March 31, 2021 and $6.9 million at March 31, 2020.
(2)   The inventory reserve was $13.7 million at March 31, 2021 and $10.3 million at March 31, 2020.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands)

  Three Months Ended   
  March 31,   
  2021  2020  Change
Operating activities        
Net income$98,655   $30,912   $67,743  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:        
 Depreciation 6,884    7,001    (117) 
 Amortization 421    336    85  
 Share-based compensation 3,837    3,654    183  
 Equity earnings in unconsolidated investments, net (75)   (88)   13  
 Impairment of goodwill and other assets -    6,944    (6,944) 
 Other 2,723    3,715    (992) 
Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions:        
 Receivables (199,672)   (124,542)   (75,130) 
 Product inventories (200,185)   (156,856)   (43,329) 
 Prepaid expenses and other assets (5,507)   4,633    (10,140) 
 Accounts payable 369,665    256,874    112,791  
 Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 367    (12,855)   13,222  
Net cash provided by operating activities 77,113    19,728    57,385  
Investing activities        
Acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired (683)   (13,642)   12,959  
Purchases of property and equipment, net of sale proceeds (8,839)   (8,340)   (499) 
Net cash used in investing activities (9,522)   (21,982)   12,460  
Financing activities        
Proceeds from revolving line of credit 342,500    248,700    93,800  
Payments on revolving line of credit (308,656)   (256,543)   (52,113) 
Proceeds from asset-backed financing 110,000    97,400    12,600  
Payments on asset-backed financing (125,000)   (17,300)   (107,700) 
Payments on term facility (2,313)   (2,313)   -  
Proceeds from short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term debt 4,280    6,479    (2,199) 
Payments on short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term debt (3,740)   (1,871)   (1,869) 
Payments of deferred financing costs -    (12)   12  
Payments of deferred and contingent acquisition consideration (362)   (281)   (81) 
Proceeds from stock issued under share-based compensation plans 2,912    6,358    (3,446) 
Payments of cash dividends (23,299)   (22,147)   (1,152) 
Purchases of treasury stock (71,516)   (66,619)   (4,897) 
Net cash used in financing activities (75,194)   (8,149)   (67,045) 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents 553    (372)   925  
Change in cash and cash equivalents (7,050)   (10,775)   3,725  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 34,128    28,583    5,545  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$27,078   $17,808   $9,270  


Base Business

The following table breaks out our consolidated results into the base business component and the excluded component (sales centers excluded from base business):

(Unaudited) Base Business Excluded Total
(in thousands) Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Three Months Ended
  March 31, March 31, March 31,
  2021 2020 2021 2020 2021 2020
Net sales $1,015,632  $674,082  $45,113   $3,206  $1,060,745  $677,288 
Gross profit 290,115  188,292  11,016   1,337  301,131  189,629 
Gross margin 28.6% 27.9% 24.4%  41.7% 28.4% 28.0%
Operating expenses (1) 160,995  152,815  11,105   1,226  172,100  154,041 
Expenses as a % of net sales 15.9% 22.7% 24.6%  38.2% 16.2% 22.7%
Operating income (loss) (1) 129,120  35,477  (89)  111  129,031  35,588 
Operating margin 12.7% 5.3% (0.2)%  3.5% 12.2% 5.3%

(1)    Base business and total for 2020 reflect $6.9 million of impairment from goodwill and other assets.

We have excluded the following acquisitions from our base business results for the periods identified:

Sales Centers
TWC Distributors, Inc. (1) December 2020 10 January - March 2021
Jet Line Products, Inc. October 2020 9 January - March 2021
Northeastern Swimming Pool Distributors, Inc. (1) September 2020 2 January - March 2021
Master Tile Network LLC (1) February 2020 4 January - March 2021 and
February - March 2020

(1)    We acquired certain distribution assets of each of these companies.

When calculating our base business results, we exclude sales centers that are acquired, closed or opened in new markets for a period of 15 months. We also exclude consolidated sales centers when we do not expect to maintain the majority of the existing business and existing sales centers that are consolidated with acquired sales centers.

We generally allocate corporate overhead expenses to excluded sales centers on the basis of their net sales as a percentage of total net sales. After 15 months of operations, we include acquired, consolidated and new market sales centers in the base business calculation including the comparative prior year period.

The table below summarizes the changes in our sales center count in the first three months of 2021.

December 31, 2020398  
Acquired locations-  
New locations3  
Consolidated location(1) 
March 31, 2021400  

Adjusted EBITDA

We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income or net loss plus interest and other non-operating expenses, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, share-based compensation, goodwill and other non-cash impairments and equity earnings or loss in unconsolidated investments.  Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of cash flow or liquidity as determined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). We have included Adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental disclosure because we believe that it is widely used by our investors, industry analysts and others as a useful supplemental accrual-based liquidity measure in conjunction with net cash flows provided by or used in operating activities to help investors understand our ability to provide cash flows to fund growth, service debt, repurchase shares and pay dividends as well as compare our cash flow generating capacity from period to period, excluding the impact of period-to-period changes in working capital.

We believe Adjusted EBITDA should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, operating income or loss, net income or loss, net cash flows provided by or used in operating, investing and financing activities or other income statement or cash flow statement line items reported in accordance with GAAP. Other companies may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently than we do, which may limit its usefulness as a comparative measure.

The table below presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net cash provided by operating activities. Please see page 5 for our Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.

(Unaudited) Three Months Ended
(in thousands) March 31,
   2021  2020
Adjusted EBITDA$140,092   $53,419  
 Interest and other non-operating expenses, net of interest income (2,501)   (4,685) 
 Income tax provision (benefit) (27,869)   25  
 Other 2,723    3,715  
 Change in operating assets and liabilities (35,332)   (32,746) 
Net cash provided by operating activities$77,113   $19,728  

The table below presents a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA.

(Unaudited) Three Months Ended
(in thousands) March 31,
   2021  2020
Net income$98,655   $30,912  
 Interest and other non-operating expenses (1) 2,582    4,789  
 Income tax provision (benefit) 27,869    (25) 
 Share-based compensation 3,837    3,654  
 Equity earnings in unconsolidated investments (75)   (88) 
 Impairment of goodwill and other assets -    6,944  
 Depreciation 6,884    7,001  
 Amortization (2) 340    232  
Adjusted EBITDA$140,092   $53,419  

(1)   Shown net of interest income and includes gains and losses on foreign currency transactions and amortization of deferred financing costs as discussed below.
(2)   Excludes amortization of deferred financing costs of $81 and $104 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and March 31, 2020, respectively. This non-cash expense is included in Interest and other non-operating expenses, net on the Consolidated Statements of Income.

Adjusted Income Statement Information

We have included adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS, which are non-GAAP financial measures, in this press release as supplemental disclosures, because we believe these measures are useful to investors and others in assessing our year-over-year operating performance. We believe these measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, net income and diluted EPS presented in accordance with GAAP, respectively, and in the context of our other disclosures in this press release. Other companies may calculate these non-GAAP financial measures differently than we do, which may limit their usefulness as comparative measures.  

The table below presents a reconciliation of net income to adjusted net income.

(Unaudited)Three Months Ended
(in thousands)March 31,
 2021 2020
Net income$98,655  $30,912  
Impairment of goodwill and other assets-  6,944  
Tax impact on impairment of long-term note (1)-  (654) 
Adjusted net income$98,655  $37,202  

(1)  As described in our April 23, 2020 earnings release, our effective tax rate at March 31, 2020 was a 0.1% benefit. Excluding impairment from goodwill and intangibles and tax benefits from ASU 2016-09 recorded in the first quarter of 2020, our effective tax rate for the first quarter of 2020 was 25.4%, which we used to calculate the tax impact related to the $2.5 million long-term note impairment.

The table below presents a reconciliation of diluted EPS to adjusted diluted EPS.

(Unaudited)Three Months Ended
 March 31,
 2021 2020
Diluted EPS$2.42   $0.75  
After-tax non-cash impairment charges-   0.15  
Adjusted diluted EPS excluding after-tax non-cash impairment charges2.42   0.90  
ASU 2016-09 tax benefit(0.10)  (0.19) 
Adjusted diluted EPS excluding after-tax non-cash impairment charges and tax benefit$2.32   $0.71  

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Apr 22, 2021

Cautionary Statement for Purposes of the "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Matters discussed in this website contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements express our current expectations or forecasts of possible future results or events, including projections of earnings and other financial performance measures, statements of management's expectations regarding plans and objectives, and industry, general economic and other forecasts of trends, future dividend payments, share repurchases and other matters. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or current facts and often use words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "expect", “intend”, "believe," "will likely result," "outlook," "project," “may,” “can,” “plan,” “target,” “potential,” "should" and other words and expressions of similar meaning.

No assurance can be given that the expected results in any forward-looking statements will be achieved, and actual results may differ materially due to one or more factors. For these statements we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

Certain factors that may affect our business and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements include the following:
  • The demand for our swimming pool, irrigation, landscape and related outdoor living products may be adversely affected by unfavorable economic conditions.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and associated responses could adversely impact our business and results of operations.
  • We are susceptible to adverse weather conditions.
  • Our distribution business is highly dependent on our ability to maintain favorable relationships with suppliers.
  • We depend on a global network of suppliers to source our products, including our own branded products and products we have exclusive distribution rights to. Product quality, warranty claims or safety concerns could negatively impact our sales and expose us to litigation.
  • We face intense competition both from within our industry and from other leisure product alternatives.
  • More aggressive competition by store- and internet-based mass merchants and large pool or irrigation supply retailers could adversely affect our sales.
  • We depend on our ability to attract, develop and retain highly qualified personnel.
  • Past growth may not be indicative of future growth, and while we contemplate continued growth through internal expansion and acquisitions, no assurance can be made as to our ability to:
    • penetrate new markets;
    • generate sufficient cash flows to support expansion plans and general operating activities;
    • obtain financing;
    • identify appropriate acquisition candidates and successfully integrate acquired businesses;
    • maintain favorable supplier arrangements and relationships; and
    • identify and divest assets which do not continue to create value consistent with our objectives.
  • We are subject to inventory management risks. Insufficient inventory may result in lost sales opportunities or delayed revenue, while excess inventory may negatively impact our gross margin.
  • The cost of chemical products could increase our cost of sales and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
  • The nature of our business subjects us to compliance with employment, environmental, health, transportation, safety and other governmental regulations.
  • We store chemicals, fertilizers and other combustible materials that involve fire, safety and casualty risks.
  • We conduct business internationally, which exposes us to additional risks.
  • Changes in tax laws and accounting standards related to tax matters have caused, and may in the future cause, fluctuations in our effective tax rate.
  • We rely on information technology systems to support our business operations. A significant disturbance or breach of our technological infrastructure could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, failure to maintain the security of confidential information could damage our reputation and expose us to litigation.
  • We may be adversely affected by changes in LIBOR reporting practices or the method in which LIBOR is determined.
  • Disruptions from natural or man-made disasters or extreme weather, public safety issues, geopolitical events and security issues, labor or trade disputes and similar events could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The foregoing factors are not exhaustive and new factors may emerge which impact our business. It is impossible for us to predict all such factors. Therefore, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual future results. We cannot guarantee that any future event or result will be realized, although we believe we have been prudent in our plans and assumptions. Should additional risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated. Investors should bear this in mind as they consider forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of subsequent events, new information or otherwise.