Water-treatment company Pentair increased its earnings guidance for the year after a strong start to 2021.

Pentair, which is headquartered in London but has management offices in Golden Valley, reported first-quarter earnings of $128.6 million, or 78 cents per share, an 81% increase from the same period last year. Adjusted earnings per share was 81 cents, more than 30% higher than analysts were expecting.

Sales for the quarter were $866 million, a rise of 22% from the first quarter of 2020 and 11% better than what analysts were expecting.

Pentair is a leader in the residential pool industry, and Chief Financial Officer Robert Fishman said the category grew 50% during the quarter on strong preseason demand and a spike in pool repair and maintenance following storms in the southern United States. The performance was key to the consumer solutions business and overall results, he said.

The consumer solutions business saw a 34% sales increase.

Pentair Chief Executive John Stauch pointed to two recent acquisitions as reason to expect further growth.

"We recently completed the acquisition of Rocean and signed an agreement to purchase Ken's Beverage, which helps us to fill out key strategic growth opportunities within the water treatment business of our consumer solutions segment," Stauch said in a statement.

Pentair completed the acquisition of Rocean, which sells a residential countertop water-filtration system, at the end of 2020. Pentair announced earlier this week plans to purchase Ken's Beverage, a provider of beverage equipment and service to commercial customers.

The company raised its guidance for the remainder of 2021, estimating earnings per share at $2.80 to $2.95 and a 6 to 11% sales increase.

Sleep Number

A focus on home improvements and home furnishings also had a benefit for Sleep Number, which makes, sells and distributes premium mattresses.

The Minneapolis-based company said its first-quarter revenue increased 20% to $568 million over the same period last year. Net income was $66.6 million, or $2.51 per share, compared with $39.1 million, or $1.40 per share, in the first quarter of 2020.

Sleep Number's first-quarter earnings per share of $2.51 was a record and exceeded consensus analyst expectations of $1.83 per share.

But analysts were expecting more in sales. The company said $50 million of smart-bed deliveries shifted out of the first quarter and into the second as the company experienced supply-chain problems with foam.

Sleep Number also increased its earnings guidance for the rest of 2021 to $6.50 per share, which would be a 40% increase over 2020 results excluding the benefit of an extra week in the year.

Shares of Sleep Number ended Thursday at $110.13, down nearly 12%.


Graco, the Minneapolis-based maker of fluid-handling equipment, also showed better than 20% growth in revenue for the quarter.

Graco's revenue was $454.1 million, up from $273.6 million in the same quarter last year. Currency exchange rates benefited Graco, adding 4 percentage points to sales growth. Earnings grew more than 50% to $101.6 million, or 58 cents per share.

"I am pleased with Graco's performance in the first quarter, where we achieved organic, constant currency growth in every region and reportable segment," said Patrick McHale, Graco's outgoing president and chief executive.

Graco sales grew faster in Europe, Asia and Africa than in the United States.

While Pentair and Sleep Number both raised expectations for the remainder of the year, Minneapolis-based Graco was more reserved in its outlook. "We are cautious on the longer-term outlook as uncertainty remains in the overall demand environment," McHale said in a release.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926