Here’s Why I Think PetMed Express (NASDAQ:PETS) Is An Interesting Stock

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For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it completely lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson.

In the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, my choice may seem old fashioned; I still prefer profitable companies like PetMed Express (NASDAQ:PETS). Now, I’m not saying that the stock is necessarily undervalued today; but I can’t shake an appreciation for the profitability of the business itself. In comparison, loss making companies act like a sponge for capital – but unlike such a sponge they do not always produce something when squeezed.

See our latest analysis for PetMed Express

PetMed Express’s Earnings Per Share Are Growing.

If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price will eventually follow. It’s no surprise, then, that I like to invest in companies with EPS growth. Impressively, PetMed Express has grown EPS by 26% per year, compound, in the last three years. If the company can sustain that sort of growth, we’d expect shareholders to come away winners.

I like to take a look at earnings before interest and (EBIT) tax margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company’s growth. PetMed Express maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 6.2% to US$286m. That’s progress.

The chart below shows how the company’s bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:PETS Income Statement, May 3rd 2019
NasdaqGS:PETS Income Statement, May 3rd 2019

While we live in the present moment at all times, there’s no doubt in my mind that the future matters more than the past. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for PetMed Express?

Are PetMed Express Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

As a general rule, I think it worth considering how much the CEO is paid, since unreasonably high rates could be considered against the interests of shareholders. I discovered that the median total compensation for the CEOs of companies like PetMed Express with market caps between US$200m and US$800m is about US$1.6m.

PetMed Express offered total compensation worth US$1.2m to its CEO in the year to March 2018. That comes in below the average for similar sized companies, and seems pretty reasonable to me. While the level of CEO compensation isn’t a huge factor in my view of the company, modest remuneration is a positive, because it suggests that the board keeps shareholder interests in mind. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is PetMed Express Worth Keeping An Eye On?

For growth investors like me, PetMed Express’s raw rate of earnings growth is a beacon in the night. With swiftly growing earnings, it probably has its best days ahead, and the modest CEO pay suggests the company is careful with cash. So I’d venture it may well deserve a spot on your watchlist, or even a little further research. While we’ve looked at the quality of the earnings, we haven’t yet done any work to value the stock. So if you like to buy cheap, you may want to check if PetMed Express is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction

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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.