Pets Are Big Business: 4 Big-Ticket Pet Stocks To Add To Your Portfolio

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We all need a diversion from international bad news for a second — talking about cuddly pets sounds good, right? Interest in pets during the pandemic skyrocketed and hasn’t waned since, and in a national survey, it’s been proven that pet parents will keep their pets and won’t rehome them.

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About 85 million families in the U.S. have pets, according to ProShares. This refers to 67% of all households, an increase from just over 55% in the late 1980s.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) released new data from respondents from a nationally representative poll of 5,020 respondents. It confirmed that one in five households had acquired a cat or dog since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that approximately 23 million American households adopted pets, based on the U.S. Census. Ninety percent of dog owners and 85% of cat owners have not considered rehoming their pet from this sample.

Hurray! What great news. Now, why consider pet stocks and which ones should you tap into?

Why Consider Pet Stocks?

Americans love their soft, cuddly pets - and their scaly ones, too. And they spend money on them, including food and vet bills, as well as clothes or fashion items, which offers a great reason to invest in pet stocks.

The pet care industry offers vast opportunities as well. From food and supply retailers, manufacturers and distributors, to veterinary services, diagnostics and medicine.

Global pet care industry sales were $190 billion in 2018, which will grow over 40% and reach $270 billion in 2025. Let's dive in.

Chewy Inc. (NYSE:CHWY)

Chewy Inc., headquartered in Dania Beach, Florida, is an e-commerce business that supplies pet medications, food, treats and other pet health products and services for dogs, cats, fish, birds, small pets, horses and reptiles.

Fiscal Q3 2021 highlights for Chewy were as follows:

  • Net sales of $2.21 billion grew 24% year over year (YoY).
  • Gross margin of 26.4% expanded 90 basis points YoY.
  • The company experienced a net loss of $32.2 million, including share-based compensation expense of $19.1 million.
  • Net margin of 1.5% improved 30 basis points YoY.
  • Its adjusted EBITDA of $6 million, an increase of 9.9% YoY and adjusted EBITDA margin of 0.3% was flat year over year.

Trupanion Inc. (NASDAQ:TRUP)

Trupanion Inc., headquartered in Seattle, Washington, provides medical insurance for cats and dogs and operates through the subscription business and other business. The company offers monthly subscriptions of pet medical insurance and offers companies or organizations that choose to provide medical insurance for cats and dogs as a benefit to their employees or members.

Net loss was $35.5 million, or $0.89 per basic and diluted share. If the company continues to loss money, eventually it will have a negative effect on the stock.

Trupanion's total revenue was $699 million, an increase of 39% compared to 2020. Total enrolled pets (including pets from our other business segment) was 1,176,778 as of December 31, 2021, an increase of 36% over 2020. The company's subscription business revenue was $494.9 million, an increase of 28% compared to 2020. Subscription enrolled pets was 704,333 then, an increase of 22% over 2020.

Total revenue for Q4 was $194.4 million, an increase of 36% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Subscription business revenue was $134.1 million, an increase of 26% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Net loss was $7 million. Net loss per share was impacted by $0.10 due to an increase in stock-based compensation.

Freshpet Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT)

Freshpet Inc., headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey, manufactures, markets and distributes pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats. Products are sold throughout the United States and in Canada under several brands, including Freshpet Select, Vital and Nature's Fresh. It sells a deli fresh grain-free chicken recipe for dogs and dog joy turkey and apple bites treats, a Nature's Fresh grain-free chicken recipe for cats and Vital grain-free chicken and ocean whitefish recipe for cats.

Preliminary Q4 results for 2021 net sales are expected to be $115.9 million, which represents 37.1% more compared to the prior year period. Preliminary 2021 growth was expected to grow to $425.5 million, representing growth of 33.5% and adjusted EBITDA should be approximately $42 million for full year 2021.

Q3 2021 financial highlights include net sales of $107.6 million, an increase of 27.8%, net loss of $2.1 million compared with prior year net income of $3.5 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $14.6 million, compared to last year's $17 million.

Freshpet experienced supply chain challenges, labor and material shortages and accelerating inflation that created short-term challenges. Freshpet's aggressive capacity expansion initiatives as well as investments in maintenance, training and automation.

Petco Health and Wellness Co Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF)

Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc., headquartered in San Diego, retails premium pet consumables, supplies and companion animals and services. The company also offers grooming, in-store and online training, televeterinarian services and pet health insurance services as well as veterinary services through Vetco clinics. It also offers pet consumables, supplies and services through various websites. The company also offered pet care centers and full-service veterinary hospitals within pet care centers in the United States and Puerto Rico and 100 pet care centers in Mexico.

In Q3 2021, Petco delivered net revenue of $1.4 billion, up 15% from the prior year. Net income improved by $49.3 million from prior year to $52.8 million. Adjusted net income for Q3 increased $40.4 million from prior year to $54.0 million or $0.20 per share. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 17% from the prior year to $138.5 million.

Americans Love Their Pets: Take Advantage of it!

Along with droves of people moving away from cities due to the pandemic, Americans  and other areas worldwide collected pets as well. The surge in pet ownership likely continued when people moved from cities to the suburbs.

Consider Petco Health and Wellness (NASDAQ:WOOF), IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX), PetIQ (NASDAQ:PETQ) and more.

Should you invest $1,000 in Freshpet right now?

Before you consider Freshpet, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Freshpet wasn't on the list.

While Freshpet currently has a "Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

Article by Melissa Brock, MarketBeat