Chewy.com (NYSE:CHWY) is benefiting from an interesting trend; people are bringing home pets at an increasing rate during the pandemic. For many people, the companions help reduce anxiety during these trying times.

The good news for shareholders is that pets are a long-term commitment, and families are reluctant to return them after they have bonded for a period of time. Analysts expect Chewy to report fantastic results in its third-quarter earnings release on Dec. 8. Here are three important metrics investors should look at. 

A small dog on a lawn outside.

Chewy.com is rapidly growing sales. Image source: Getty images.

People love their pets

Investors' attention should first focus on the company's overall revenue for the quarter. Chewy's management is forecasting Q3 revenue of $1.71 billion at the midpoint of its guidance range: up 39% year over year. The coronavirus pandemic and resulting shift to e-commerce is helping the company to reach a scale that might have otherwise taken years to achieve.

The second thing potential investors should look out for is Chewy's reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). The company has posted two consecutive quarters of positive adjusted EBITDA. With revenue expected to grow nearly 40% for fiscal 2020, this streak is likely to continue.

Lastly, shareholders should look to the company's reported total active customers and its net sales per active customer (NSPAC). Chewy increased both in the second quarter. If that trend continues, it's a positive sign for investors. Chewy now boasts over 16 million active customers who spent an average of $356 annually in Q2.

Interestingly, the newer customers Chewy is adding are proving to be more valuable than previous customers. Here is what the company had to say on the matter in a letter to shareholders:

The active customers we added in the first half of 2020 surpassed the active customers we added in all of 2019. These new cohorts are large, and given their initial engagement, they represent a potentially significant source of future revenue and profit. As was the case with their predecessors, we expect their NSPAC to increase over time, reaching approximately $500 per year by year two and over $700 per year by year five.

A puppy trying to use a laptop.

Chewy.com boasts 16 million active customers. Image source: Getty images.

What this could mean for investors 

Wall Street analysts expect Chewy to report Q3 revenue of $1.72 billion and a loss per share of $0.13. For comparison, Chewy posted a loss of $0.20 per share on revenue of $1.23 billion in the prior-year period.

If the company indeed reports $1.72 billion in revenue for the quarter, it would be a new record, slightly ahead of the $1.7 billion of revenue generated in the previous quarter. Investors who are looking for a rapidly-growing consumer goods stock should consider adding Chewy to their watch list.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.