Pentair is making a big play in the residential water-quality market, offering "whole home" solutions from pool maintenance to filtration systems for drinking water.
In the commercial space, where the demand for sustainable solutions is increasing, the company's broad portfolio of both products and services can help companies provide clean, safe and good-tasting water.
The company, based in England but run from Golden Valley, last year bought Pelican Water Systems for $120 million and Aquion for $160 million and with the deals expanded its inventory of water conditioners, filters, purifiers and more and further solidified in the consumer market.
The company also reorganized itself into two business segments, Consumer Solutions and Industrial & Flow Technologies (IFT), to develop more specialized sales channels and offerings. Consumer Sales had annual revenue of $1.6 billion in 2019, while IFT had sales of $1.3 billion.
While it was a bumpy year for the company, CEO John Stauch said in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday that Pentair is now positioned to be aggressive about growth.
"Despite the challenging start to 2019, we made great progress," Stauch said. As Pentair moves forward in 2020, it does so with an optimistic tilt and a greater sense of urgency, he said, with the pool business expected not to be as soft this past year.
For the fourth quarter, Pentair had a revenue bump of 2% to $755 million, beating Wall Street estimates, although core sales were down 1% over the same period a year ago, the company reported Tuesday.
Net income was $97.8 million, or 58 cents a share, up from $92.9 million, or 54 cents a share. Adjusted income was 68 cents a share, which beat the Wall Street estimate of 65 cents a share compiled by Thomson Reuters.
In fueling its strategy for residential sales, the company improved its website to increase customer engagement and link customers to dealers. It also built a platform to communicate with internet of things home devices and two apps, one for consumers and one for dealers. The idea is to develop residential water-treatment products that would be managed through the apps, with plans to launch 10 of these in 2020.
The company also is setting up "mobile retail centers," which are trucks that allow salespeople to travel to homes or businesses and demonstrate products on-site.
Geographically, Stauch said, the company expects more softness in the European markets but continued growth momentum in China.
Pentair's stock was down 1.3% Tuesday, closing at $44.28.
Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292