Socially distancing proved to be a boon for two publicly traded companies in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
Lazydays Holdings (Nasdaq: LAZY), a Seffner-based recreational vehicle dealer, and MarineMax (NYSE: HZO), a Clearwater recreational boat and yacht retailer, each posted triple-digit stock price gains, as buyers flocked to the open road and water after being cooped up at home.
The two companies had the best performance in 2020 among the 19 publicly traded businesses that are headquartered in the Tampa-St. Pete metro area and have a market cap topping $100 million.
Overall, gainers outnumbered losers, 12 to 7. That’s a positive indicator for the local economy because stock prices generally reflect a company’s overall financial health. Fluctuations in stock prices can inflate or shrink shareholder portfolios and employee retirement plans. Companies with higher stock prices have more buying power when they use that stock to make an acquisition.
Concerns about Covid-19 sparked fear of flying in crowded planes and had some travelers packing their families into RVs and seeking out campgrounds around the country, CNBC reported in July.
“We have and continue to experience very strong demand for RVs,” Bill Murnane, chairman and CEO of Lazydays, said in an earnings call with analysts on Nov. 4. “We believe this strong demand is primarily related to the lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic and the limited options people have to enjoy vacation and leisure activities that allow for social distancing.”
Lazydays’ stock was selling for $4.30 a share when 2020 opened, and soared to $11.95 a share by the close on Dec. 31, a nearly 278 percent increase.
MarineMax stock price went up 108.5 percent during 2020, opening at $16.80 and closing at $35.03. The company had record sales and earnings during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, including 33 percent same-store sales for the last quarter of fiscal year 2020.
“Boating proved to be a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life and strengthen the bonds of family and friends while avoiding crowds,” William McGill, president and CEO, said during an Oct. 28 earnings call.
Here’s a look at the other stock price gainers during 2002.
The biggest stock price decline during 2020 was posted by United Insurance Holdings (Nasdaq: UIHC), a St. Petersburg-based property and casualty insurer that does business as UPC Insurance. The company’s stock price dropped nearly 55 percent, from $12.66 at the start of trading on Jan. 2, 2020 to $5.72 at the close on Dec. 31.
During the year, the long-time CEO left and there was a leadership shakeup under the new CEO. The company reversed course on a plan to build a new downtown St. Petersburg headquarters and took a financial beating from losses associated with hurricanes and tropical storms.
Related: Ten local companies to watch in 2021
Another property and casualty insurer, Heritage Insurance Holdings (NYSE: HRTG) in Clearwater, had a 24 percent stock drop during 2020. Heritage also had leadership changes when its CEO stepped down.
Apyx Medical (Nasdaq: APYX), a Clearwater-based medical device maker that was the hottest stock of 2018, declined during 2020 as elective surgical procedures were put on hold during part of the year.
Here are the other stock price decliners in 2020.