Zacks Investment Research Lowers VCA Inc. (WOOF) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of VCA Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “VCA Inc. is a national animal healthcare company operating primarily in the United States and Canada. It owns, operates and manages veterinary hospitals and veterinary-exclusive clinical laboratories in the country, supplies diagnostic imaging equipment and other medical technology products and related services to the veterinary industry, and provides various communication, professional education and marketing solutions to the veterinary community. VCA Inc., formerly known as VCA Antech, Inc., is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. “

Separately, Jefferies Group restated a hold rating on shares of VCA in a research note on Friday, August 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $71.00.

Analyst Recommendations for VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF)

Shares of VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF) opened at 69.98 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $5.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.97 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $70.40 and a 200-day moving average price of $65.77. VCA has a 12 month low of $44.00 and a 12 month high of $73.69.

VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.05. The business earned $653.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $637.18 million. VCA had a return on equity of 16.86% and a net margin of 9.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 19.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. Analysts forecast that VCA will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, COO Arthur J. Antin sold 34,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.03, for a total transaction of $2,347,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 89,691 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,191,369.73. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director John B. Chickering, Jr. sold 2,302 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.85, for a total value of $163,096.70. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,992 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $778,783.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 4.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in VCA during the first quarter worth $104,000. Walleye Trading LLC increased its stake in VCA by 312.0% in the second quarter. Walleye Trading LLC now owns 2,052 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 1,554 shares during the last quarter. Creative Planning increased its stake in VCA by 43.5% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,554 shares of the company’s stock worth $173,000 after buying an additional 774 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in VCA by 58.1% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,004 shares of the company’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 1,104 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. bought a new stake in VCA during the second quarter worth $208,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.17% of the company’s stock.

About VCA

VCA Inc is an animal healthcare company. The Company operates through five segments. Its Animal Hospital segment provides veterinary services for companion animals and sells related retail and pharmaceutical products. Its Laboratory segment provides diagnostic laboratory testing services for veterinarians, both associated with its animal hospitals and those independent of the Company.

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