Company Plans to Be a Consolidator

If there’s one company out there that amazes me with its ability to grow and do well on the stock market, it’s VCA Antech (NASDAQ/WOOF).

I’ve been writing about this company for quite some time in this column and, frankly, it still offers all the criteria I’m looking for in an equity investment.

VCA Antech is one of those steady growers that helps you sleep at night, while it just keeps ticking along. This isn’t to say that the company won’t experience bumps in the road over the coming years, but at least the company offers a solid track record of success from which to start.

VCA Antech is a veterinary hospital consolidator. The company also runs its own laboratories that independent veterinary hospitals can use.

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The vet business is a great business in which to be. People love their pets like family members and will spend whatever it takes to ensure their pet is happy.

Although it is difficult to quantify empirically, I think it’s fair to conclude that consumer spending on veterinary services is mostly recession-proof. Your pets still have to eat and be given their shots, regardless of what the economy is doing. This, of course, only makes good common sense.

What VCA Antech is not is a “one-time wonder” on the stock market. The company isn’t trying to be the next “ten-bagger.” It really is better that that. The company is just trying to grow in a diligent and deliberate manner, generating solid financial returns to stockholders.

Because the company’s business plan is to be a consolidator in its industry, you can expect more acquisitions to take place over the coming quarters. It is possible that this could be dilutive to stockholders.

If you don’t already own shares in this company, I have to say that it’s really worth considering if the stock were to experience any major weakness.