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Here's Why Zoetis Stock Fell 11.7% in March

By Maxx Chatsko – Apr 9, 2020 at 8:37AM

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The animal health company outperformed the S&P 500 last month. As of early April, it has also gained back most of its losses.

What happened

Shares of Zoetis (ZTS 0.56%) fell 11.7% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That was actually better than the 12.5% tumble of the S&P 500. What's more, the animal health stock has clawed back most of the ground lost in March through the first week of April.

The company hasn't told investors how the coronavirus pandemic has affected operations, if at all. Since major social-distancing orders were issued, Zoetis has only scheduled its first-quarter 2020 earnings conference call and announced a minor acquisition. Can the growth stock really avoid all of the economic uncertainty? 

A declining chart on a chalkboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Zoetis develops health products for companion animals (cats, dogs, and horses) and livestock (cattle, pigs, chickens, fish, and the like). Demand for those products probably hasn't declined very much. Food production is an essential business in every part of the world, although it's reasonable to expect some purchases to be delayed. Similarly, the family dog's flea medication might not be a priority right now.

The geographic distribution of operations figures to be favorable for investors, too. Over half the company's revenue was generated in the United States in 2019. By comparison, only 8% of total revenue was derived from combined sales in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. 

Now what

While it's reasonable to expect the abrupt economic slowdown to negatively affect the animal health leader, the business hasn't provided an update to investors. That will surely come when Zoetis announces first-quarter 2020 operating results on May 6, if the information isn't provided sometime in April.

Maxx Chatsko has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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