For the fourth quarter, Petco's revenues climbed 10.9% to $492.3 million. Its comparable same-store sales, meanwhile, were up a hair-raising 5.1%. The company's net income jumped 32% to $27.6 million (or $0.47 EPS) compared with the same period a year ago.
Petco's fourth quarter capped a record year in which same-store sales were up 6.2% compared with fiscal 2003. Its net sales for fiscal 2004 were higher by 12.5% to $1.8 billion. Earnings for the year totaled $83.7 million -- 29.4% year-over-year growth. The company wasn't resting in between busy sales; it also improved its operating margins by 5.9% to a mark of 9%.
At an EPS of $1.45, its stock bears a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 25.9. With sales growth expected to remain at the same level and its EPS projected to grow by 25%, given a blended growth rate of 18-19%, Petco's stock appears fully valued at this level.
Despite its hairy valuation, investors will like the sound of Petco's bark, since it anticipates that the market can hold more than twice as many stores to an estimated 1,500 to 1,600 units. With 716 stores currently in operation, there is ample room for growth in the years ahead. And given its cash flow position and clean balance sheet -- which should be more than adequate to fund its aggressive expansion plans -- it's nice to know that there is plenty of bite as well.
At the current valuation, potential investors will want to look for a discounted price on Petco's stock. Just don't expect mutt prices for a purebred company.
How does Petco stack up to its competition? Check out these articles on PETsMART:
- PETsMART Won't "Stay"
- Pet Parents Flock to PETsMART
- Are Pests Plaguing PETsMART?
- PETsMART Not Playing Dead
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy stays busy while caring for his 3-year-old yellow lab. He often shops at have-it-all stores such as Petco and PETsMART, which save time. However, Jeremy does not own shares in either company.
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