This Business a Quiet Winner

I’d like to spend my time with you reviewing a company that I’ve followed for a long time. Frankly, I just love this business. It isn’t fast-growing like solar energy companies, but it’s reliable.

The company I’m referring to is VCA Antech, Inc. (NASDAQ/WOOF) and it is a veterinary hospital and laboratory operator. What a great business to be in. What a great business to be in if there’s a recession. What a great stock this has been.

This company owns the largest network of veterinary hospitals and veterinary-exclusive clinical laboratories in the U.S. The company has also started up a diagnostic imaging equipment division that’s selling to the veterinary industry.

In its latest quarter, that company reported that its revenues grew 22% to a third-quarter record of just over three-hundred and six million dollars. Net income grew 20% to over thirty-two million dollars.


For the first nine months of the year, the company’s revenues grew 18% to eight-hundred and seventy-two million dollars. Net income was over ninety-six million dollars, representing growth of 12%.

The company also raised its guidance for all of 2007, expecting total revenues to come in between $1.15 billion and $1.16 billion, with earnings per share of between $1.39 and $1.40.

What I like best about this company is the consistency with which it grows its business. The numbers aren’t earth-shattering, but they are solid every time. This is why the stock has been so successful and why institutional investors really like it.

If you have the time, pull up a five-year stock chart on this company and you’ll see what I mean. Along with highly speculative Chinese stocks, I also really like consistency in a business. And, the great thing about the pet-care business is that it’s recession-resistant.

I don’t want to bore you with this company. I’ve been following and writing about it for several years. Often, however, some of the best moneymaking stocks out there are the less exciting ones. I don’t expect a lot from VCA Antech, but I suspect that the stock will be higher in price in six months time than it is today.