Raymond James, MarineMax post quarterly earnings records

The Pinellas County companies have both kept their books in the black during the coronavirus pandemic.
A yacht is stored on the showroom floor of MarineMax in Clearwater on Nov. 11, 2020.
A yacht is stored on the showroom floor of MarineMax in Clearwater on Nov. 11, 2020. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jan. 29, 2021|Updated Jan. 30, 2021

Two Tampa Bay companies that have posted record revenues during the coronavirus pandemic have kept their profits rolling into 2021.

Raymond James Financial and MarineMax both reported record quarterly earnings on Thursday, executives announced in separate earnings calls.

Raymond James, based in St. Petersburg, posted all-time high revenue and net income during the three months that ended Dec. 31. The wealth management company reported $2.2 billion in revenue during the quarter, an 11 percent increase from the same period the year before. It posted $312 million in net income, up 16 percent year-over-year, and nearly 50 percent from the previous quarter.

The company, whose employees are still largely working remotely, has struggled with its infrastructure during the pandemic, laying off 4 percent of its global workforce and hinting that it might cut its real estate footprint. But some aspects of its business were stronger than ever — such as its capital markets segment, which covers investment banking, trading and research, and saw a 69 percent increase in revenue over December 2019. And that’s coming straight off a 2019-20 fiscal year that brought Raymond James a record $7.99 billion in total revenue.

In an earnings call on Thursday, CEO Paul Reilly said the company had faced some challenges in recruiting new advisors due to COVID-19 and increased competition from other firms, but otherwise called it “an extraordinary result.”

“You talk to us, or you talk to peers in the industry, everyone was surprised at how robust this quarter was,” Reilly said. “When you come off a quarter like this of activity, you go, ‘What’s the next quarter look like?’ The backlogs are very high, the activity’s very high, but you hate to keep predicting a repeat of this quarter when it’s an all-time high. Industry-wide, it was very strong. Could it continue? Yes. But that would be a guess.”

Clearwater-based boat retailer MarineMax, meanwhile, also broke records during its first fiscal quarter of 2020-21, following a record $1.5 billion in revenue last year. The company posted $411.5 million in sales in October, November and December, up 35 percent from the year before, along with $23.5 million in net income and a 30 percent gross profit margin — each all-time highs.

That performance was strong enough that the company raised its financial outlook for 2021, saying it expected earnings per diluted share to rise by around 30 cents apiece.

“Industry trends continue to be pretty darn solid, so it does reflect the increased backlog we have,” said chief financial officer Mike McLamb. “This time of year, it’s seasonally very strong.”

During the pandemic, the company saw significant savings via the cancellation of large boat shows, McLamb said, with spring traditionally serving as that industry’s busiest season.

“I think all shows will look much different in the future, which will be better for the consumer,” said CEO Brett McGill. “I think people that didn’t go this year realize, ‘I didn’t need to go.’ Let’s make them real good events to show people what’s new in the market and save everybody a little bit of money and actually make a better experience for the customers.”

Raymond James stock closed at just under $100 a share on Thurdsay, rising above that number Friday morning MarineMax dropped $1.50 a share Friday morning, but rose back to nearly $43 a share by noon.