It’s earnings season and several companies’ reports are listed in today’s newsletter. For the most part, revenue and earnings for animal health and petfood companies have remained strong.
Interestingly, many stock analysts interpret individual company’s revenues in the context of declining veterinary visits for pets. But is that a good metric? Veterinary expenses are paid out of discretionary income. During the pandemic, when the government was pumping money into the economy – and many people were home and could easily take their pet to the vet – veterinary visits increased faster than normal.
Now, as household discretionary income is returning to normal, so are vet visits. Yes, veterinary visits have declined from their highs. But most practices are still very busy and practice owners tell us that they are seeing more normal visit patterns emerge. Is it really appropriate to evaluate current revenues in light of a possible sales bump during the pandemic? Perhaps it’s best to ignore the pandemic bubble when looking at company performance, and judge based on a longer-term perspective.