BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Leslie’s Inc. (NASDAQ:LESL). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Cyclical company by 20.43% to 22.84 million shares with purchase of 3.87 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 12.42% valued currently at $145.47 million. In addition, Ariel Investments LLC raised its holdings by 3.41 million to 20.0 million shares. And The Vanguard Group, Inc. has lifted its position by 0.31% or 54311.0 shares – to 17.68 million shares.
With over 4.04 million Leslie’s Inc. (LESL) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $5.59 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $22.56 million. The shares have shown a negative half year performance of -52.67% and its price on 09/12/23 lost nearly -1.58%. Currently, there are 183.93M common shares owned by the public and among those 175.77M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 12 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for LESL have a consensus price objective of $7.85. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $12.00 and a low of $6.00. The average price target is 28.79% above its recent price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 6.83% over that period. But an upside of 53.42% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $7.25.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 28 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 20 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 671,077 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 8 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 9,545,189 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Leslie’s Inc. are iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF, Janus Henderson Triton Fund, and Ariel Fund. iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF owns 10.52 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $67.04 million. The company bought an additional 978.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 5.73% of the shares outstanding. Janus Henderson Triton Fund bought 1.39 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 5.96 million shares valued at over $37.98 million and representing 3.24% of the shares outstanding. Ariel Fund bought 5.56 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 5.56 million shares at a value of $35.42 million. Ariel Fund now owns shares totaling to 3.03% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Leslie’s Inc. (NASDAQ: LESL) opened at $5.64, down -$0.04 from a prior closing price of $5.68. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -7.60% and -45.78% over the past three months. LESL shares are trading -54.22% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -62.71% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $5.28 and touched a high of $17.12 over the same period. LESL has an average intraday trading volume of 5.16 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -13.08%, -19.55%, and -47.64% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Leslie’s Inc. (NASDAQ: LESL) shares accounts for 117.15% of the company’s 183.93M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 65.37%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 97.26% and 56.09% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $1.06B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.73. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 15.11, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $0.37. The company has a PEG of 1.56 and a Quick Ratio of 0.30. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 4.53% over the week and 4.22% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Leslie’s Inc. (LESL) will achieve an EPS of $0.18 for the current quarter, -$0.16 for the next quarter and $0.51 for 2024. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.15 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.34. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.35 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 28.20%, and 73.22% over the next financial year.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 12 brokerage firm advisors rate Leslie’s Inc. (LESL) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.60. Specifically, 3 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 9 of the 12 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the LESL, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Loop Capital stated their Hold rating for the stock in a research note on July 18, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $16-$6.