What happened

Shares in home-comfort and security products company Resideo Technologies (NYSE:REZI) rose 15% in December, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Overall, the Honeywell International spinoff (publicly listed in late 2018) recovered well from a difficult 2019, when guidance cuts, a CEO resignation, and disappointing results led to a major slump in the share price. Moving into 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused management to withdraw full-year guidance in April.

A woman using a temperature control device at home.

Image source: Getty Images.

However, the appointment of a new senior management team in May 2020, including CEO Jay Geldmacher and CFO Tony Trunzo, appeared to steady the ship. Since then, it's become clear that Resideo has been helped rather than hurt by the pandemic economy.

Simply put, stay-at-home measures created a shift in attention and consumer discretionary spending toward home improvement. That's great news for Resideo's comfort, residential thermal, and security products, and also for its ADI Global wholesale business.

As a consequence, Resideo reported a very strong third quarter, with revenue up 11% year over year, and management announced it had "made all outstanding Reimbursement Agreement payments to Honeywell." In addition, Resideo had a successful offering of 17 million shares at $15 in mid-November.

So what

With the Honeywell reimbursement payments made and the stock placing out of the way, Resideo investors can now look at the company as being "clean." As such, analysts at J.P. Morgan and Evercore initiated coverage of the stock with positive ratings and price targets significantly in excess of the current price.

The analyst upgrades and the share placing are probably the biggest reasons for the jump in December. Institutional investors have a tendency to hold off on purchasing a stock in the open market when they can get it through a placing. 

Now what

Investors will be hoping the company can build on the boost to sales created by the pandemic in 2021. At a price-to-earnings ratio of just 13 times analyst estimates for 2021 earnings, Resideo still looks like a good value despite the strong rise in 2020. All management has to do is execute against expectations, and Resideo could have another strong year.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.