VCA Antech Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of animal health care company VCA Antech (NAS: WOOF) jumped 11% today after releasing earnings and earning an analyst upgrade.

So what: Revenue grew 7.4% to $385.1 million and adjusted earnings per share were $0.37 in the third quarter, both in line with expectations. Analysts at Stephens & Co. liked what they saw and upgraded the company to over weight from equal weight this morning.

Now what: Same store revenue growth was just 1% but the company has grown by acquiring a number of animal hospitals in the quarter. The stock is trading at 15 times earnings and considering the company's consistent growth in a rough economy and potential gains when the economy improves, I think investors are starting to see some light ahead. I'm not a buyer today but I like the consistency the company has shown in recent quarters.

Interested in more info on VCA Antech? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Earnings and all other actors aside
- the lab section is a cash engine.
- the joke in the industry is that VCA takes a $1 million dollar gross practice and makes it a $500K practice. Past performance is no assurance that they will be smart or dim in the future.
- The recent purchase of Vetstreet and the on-line pharmacy positions VCA/Antech to compete against 1-800-Pet Meds by providing the pharmacy function for hosted veterinary clinic on-line stores. This is a built in client base and built in sales leads. This will likely be a big growth area in the future if they play it right which the magazine publisher who previously owned it had not done.

November 01 2011 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply