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PETS

PetMed Express

$39.41

-2.32 (-5.56%)

15:14
08/23/17
08/23
15:14
08/23/17
15:14

PetMed Express slides after being accused of 'exploiting' opioid epidemic

Shares of PetMed Express (PETS) are sliding following a short report by Aurelius Value claiming the company is "exploiting" the opioid epidemic in America. Responding to the allegations, the online pet pharmacy said the report was "false and defamatory." 'SECRET SAUCE': According to Aurelius Value, PetMed Express is "exploiting" the opioid epidemic in America. Amid increasing competition, PetMed's business had stagnated for most of the past seven years before sales and earnings suddenly began to surge, the report noted, claiming that the "secret sauce" lies in the company's efforts to "aggressively market dangerous painkillers to human opiate addicts and drug users." Aurelius Value argues that the company's broad marketing campaign features Tramadol, which is prescribed by vets to animals as well as by doctors to human cancer patients, in ads that specifically target and "bait" human opiate users, which is likely to capture the attention of regulators. Using Google, which drives 55% of the traffic to its website, "PetMed has deployed a vast predatory campaign that dangles ads featuring pictures of Tramadol to drug users searching for how to get high or quickly score a variety of different opiates, narcotics, and street drugs without a prescription," the report added. 'FALSE' REPORT: In response to Aurelius Value's report, PetMed issued a statement calling the report "false and defamatory". "We believe that this 'report' was intended to severely manipulate our stock price downward in support of short sellers. PetMed Express categorically denies the allegations and its implications. We are in the process of reporting this manipulation to the appropriate regulators. While the Company dispenses Tramadol and Gabapentin, which represent less than 1% of annual revenue, it is done exclusively pursuant to valid prescriptions from veterinarians for the treatment of animals only. PetMed Express will defend itself vigorously against these false allegations, and is also reviewing all legal options at its disposal to hold the author(s) of this article responsible for the baseless attack which has, as of this press release, caused its stock to decrease substantially. Shareholders are cautioned against reacting to the false statements being made. Our financial statements have been and are routinely audited; and we reiterate that we stand behind the integrity of our financial statements and SEC filings," the company added. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In a pre-open note, Northcoast analyst Ed Snyder said that while PetMed's shares have been trading down recently, the company is benefiting from offering a broader selection of SKUs versus the competition, increased prices year-over-year in the high-volume flea and tick and heartworm categories, and strong market adoption of next generation flea and tick chewable products, which is driving revenue growth and margin performance. Snyder noted that PetMed faces limited online competition in these products, and believes treads are sustainable. The analyst recommended investors take positions in the shares given the temporary weakness. He reiterated a Buy rating and a $54 price target on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, shares of PetMed have dropped almost 7% to $36.77.

PETS PetMed Express
$39.41

-2.32 (-5.56%)

08/23/17
NRCS
08/23/17
NO CHANGE
Target $54
NRCS
Buy
PetMed Express recent weakness a buying opportunity, says Northcoast
In a pre-open note, Northcoast analyst Ed Snyder said although PetMed Express shares have been trading down recently, the truth is the company is benefiting from offering a broader selection of SKUs versus the competition, increased prices year-over-year in the high-volume flea & tick and heartworm categories, and strong market adoption of next generation flea and teck chewable products, which is driving revenue growth and margin performance. Snyder said PetMed faces limited online competition in these products and believes treads are sustainable and recommends investors take positions in the shares given the temporary weakness. The analyst rates PetMed Express a Buy with a $54 price target.
08/21/17
CHLM
08/21/17
NO CHANGE
Target $40
CHLM
Hold
PetMed Express price target lowered on competition concerns at Craig-Hallum
Craig-Hallum analyst Kevin Ellich lowered his price target for PetMed Express to $40 from $43 saying he believes shares will be relatively range-bound in the near-term due to increased competition on the horizon from traditional retailers, earnings beats likely won't be as dramatic, if at all, over the next couple of quarters, and valuation is still expensive relative to historic levels and other pet-related stocks. The analyst reiterates a Hold rating on the shares.
07/24/17
NRCS
07/24/17
UPGRADE
NRCS
Buy
PetMed Express upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast
07/11/17
07/11/17
DOWNGRADE

On The Fly: Top five analyst downgrades
Catch up on today's top five analyst downgrades with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Snap (SNAP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley with analyst Brian Nowak saying he now sees its advertising revenue growth being materially slower than he previously expected given the company's struggles to innovate and improve its ad product paired with the rising competition it faces from Facebook's (FB) Instagram. 2. Lennar (LEN), PulteGroup (PHM) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, and TRI Pointe (TPH) were downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, while Toll Brothers (TOL) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight. 3. Gildan Activewear (GIL) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital with the firm's analyst citing year-to-date share strength and lack of meaningful upside to estimates. 4. PetMed Express (PETS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum with analyst Kevin Ellich saying risk/reward is balanced at current levels as the shares are up over 100% in the last 3 months. 5. Toyota (TM) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.

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