Is it just me, or is it getting hotter every summer? As a Louisiana native, I'm no stranger to oppressive heat and humidity, but somehow it seems to get worse every year. I can't remember when the mercury failed to climb to nearly triple-digit territory, but I'm pretty sure my air conditioner hasn't cut off since mid-March -- about the last time we had a good rain.
The sweltering heat and abundant sunshine are optimum conditions for SCP Pool
This morning, SCP Pool posted second-quarter earnings of $0.93 per share, a 21% improvement from the $0.77 earned a year ago, on revenues that rose 12% to $564 million. Management cited a larger base of installed pools as one of the contributing factors for the strong top-line growth, as well as price increases that were successfully pushed through the supply chain -- something that the industry has had trouble accomplishing historically.
Over the past couple of decades, growth in the distribution of swimming-pool supplies has remained fairly level at around 4%-5%. Seeking to spur organic growth -- now that most of its former competitors have been absorbed -- SCP Pool has turned to complementary pool products -- items such as patio furniture, toys, and backyard grills. For the quarter, sales of complementary products jumped by 33% as the company continues to make inroads into this lucrative market, which is estimated to top $5 billion annually.
During this morning's conference call, management pointed out that the company's shares began trading almost exactly 10 years ago. During that time, they have surged from a split-adjusted $0.92 to nearly $37 -- making the stock a 40-bagger. It's easy to see what's fueled much of that growth -- a decade-long buying spree encompassing more than 20 acquisitions, which transformed the company from an unknown, one-store operation into the world's largest pool-supply wholesaler with more than 200 service centers around the globe.
While the company continues to outgrow the kiddie pool -- last month it graduated to the Russell 1000 Index -- it's unreasonable to assume that it can continue to put up the hyper-growth numbers that shareholders have grown accustomed to. However, it is still well-positioned to benefit from the 200,000 homeowners every year who decide to install a pool. By all accounts, the industry is still very young, and SCP Pool towers over its closest rivals.
A recent dividend hike and raised guidance forecasting another year of a 20%-plus earnings uptick point to continued growth on the horizon. Shares of SCP Pool, while far from cheap, may still continue to make a splash.
Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns shares of SCP Pool and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of fall.