Praise for PetSmart
First-quarter earnings per share were $0.85, up 39% compared with $0.61 for the same period last year. Comparable-store sales grew 7.4% attributed to strength across all three merchandising categories, including consumables, hard goods, and live goods. Sales grew for PetSmart services, which include pet grooming, training, and boarding. Gross margins also improved.
The stock closed at $55.62 per share on Tuesday and jumped 10% at market open.
This recent news continues PetSmart's string of success. Net sales increased 7.7% annually for the past four years, and same-store sales were up 5.4% in 2011. The company is expected to grow at a 16% annual clip over the next five years.
Pampering our pets is big business
Pet-industry sales are expected to top $74 billion by 2015. Consumer researcher Packaged Facts sees "the ensconcement of pets as members of the family not just as a trend, but as a long-term societal shift favoring even greater spending on the pet market in the years to come." This news is like a scratch behind PetSmart's ears.
Pet owners fork over these billions of dollars at specialty chain stores like PetSmart and privately held Petco, as well as at big-box merchandisers and online. While pet products encompass the central focus of PetSmart and Petco, more mainstream retailers like Costco
Currently, only 5% of overall pet supplies sales are online, but that figure is expected to increase. E-retailer Amazon.com
A fierce breed
PetSmart's wide moat, strong brand, and consistent same-store sales growth position the company for continued success. Watch to see whether PetSmart continues to improve these metrics in the coming quarters.
Even though I think PetSmart is the smartest play in the pet retailing market, Amazon.com and Costco are two retailers strongly worth considering for other very enticing reasons. Read more about the exciting prospects for these two retailers in a free report.
Fool contributor Nicole Seghetti owns shares of Costco. She's been known to spoil her beloved pooch. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale and Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of PetSmart, Costco Wholesale, and Amazon.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.