Stocks of Leslie’s Inc. (LESL) are poised to climb above their peers

Leslie’s Inc. (NASDAQ: LESL) stock fell -2.28% on Friday to $13.30 against a previous-day closing price of $13.61. With 1.29 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.7 million shares. During the session, the Home Improvement Retail company that operates in wider Consumer Cyclical sector, reached to the highest price of $13.50 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $13.26. The 52-week range on LESL shows that it touched its highest point at $24.40 and its lowest point at $13.44 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $19.09.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of LESL was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -4.25%, but this was down by -9.22% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -12.44% while six-month performance fell -33.70%. The stock lost -38.88% in the past year, while it has lost -43.79% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for LESL yields 0.78 with Next year EPS estimates of 1.01. For the next quarter, that number is 0.32. This implies an EPS growth rate of 112.40% for this year and 8.81% for next year.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 182.94 million LESL shares are outstanding with a float of 175.88 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 24.12 million, which was 13.19% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Michael R. Egeck as the firm’s CEO & Director, Mr. Steven M. Weddell serves as its Exec. VP, CFO & Treasurer.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 112.37% of LESL’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 97.53% of LESL, in contrast to 53.19% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 49.14%. As the largest shareholder in LESL with 7.90% of the stake, Champlain Investment Partners LLC holds 14,449,367 shares worth 14,449,367. A second-largest stockholder of LESL, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 11,860,412 shares, controlling over 6.48% of the firm’s shares. GIC Pte Ltd. is the third largest shareholder in LESL, holding 10,980,229 shares or 6.00% stake. With a 5.55% stake in LESL, the American Funds Small Cap World Fu is the largest stakeholder. A total of 10,160,690 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Champlain Mid Cap Fund, which owns about 3.01% of LESL stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 5,500,000 shares valued at 77.99 million. Janus Henderson Triton Fund holds 2.27% of the stake in LESL, owning 4,149,366 shares worth 58.84 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for LESL since 12 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 8 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 1 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With LESL analysts setting a high price target of $27.00 and a low target of $15.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $19.09. Based on these targets, LESL could surge 103.01% to reach the target high and rise by 12.78% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 43.53% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. LESL will report FY 2022 earnings on 12/19/2022. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $0.96 being high and $0.85 being low. For LESL, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $0.92. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Leslie’s Inc. surprised analysts by -$0.06 when it reported $0.68 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.74. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.01. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.35 and the low estimate is $0.26. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.32.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded LESL stock several times over the past three months with 2 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 210,725 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 24 while that of sell transactions has risen to 5 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 728,441 while 21,904,852 shares were sold.

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