What happened

Shares of Trupanion (TRUP 3.83%) rose 11.2% in May, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company posted solid first-quarter results, helping erase some of the losses the stock has racked up since the start of 2021. 

A woman sitting on a windowsill petting a dog.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

On April 29, right before the calendar switched to May, Trupanion released its first-quarter earnings results. The leading medical insurer for cats and dogs in the United States and Canada grew revenue 39% year over year to $154.7 million. 

Trupanion missed analyst earnings expectations in Q1, with a loss of $0.10 per share, vs. the $0.08 loss Wall Street was expecting. That looks bad on paper, but taking a deeper look at the results shows that Trupanion had another solid quarter. As mentioned, revenue grew 39% in Q1, and subscription revenue grew 27% to $113.3 million. The number of enrolled pets on Trupanion also grew significantly in the quarter, up 20% to 610,000. All these numbers show Trupanion's business is moving in the right direction, even if earnings per share missed the mark.

Now what

Even though analysts and many other investors might care about the short-term earnings of a company like Trupanion, they don't have much of an impact on the long-term value of the business. Since it may take a lot of time and money to acquire an insurance customer -- in this case, the owner of a cat or dog -- with premiums paid back over the life of the contract, Trupanion's short-term profitability will be depressed if it continues to grow its customer base at a rapid rate. 

Right now, Trupanion currently trades at a price-to-sales ratio (P/S) of 6.2, based on its trailing-12-month revenue numbers. And even though it isn't profitable currently, investors should be confident that Trupanion could be profitable if it wanted to because of the consistency of its subscription model and the fact that it has generated cash in the past. Insurance, even just pet insurance, produces long-term durable streams of cash flow, and every new pet Trupanion adds grows the value of its business. 

Even though the stock was up more than 10% in May, not much has changed about Trupanion's business, and the stock is still down 26% year to date. If you're bullish on how much consumers will spend on pets, there's still time to take a look at the market leader in Trupanion.