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PetMed Express 3Q net income rises on lower costs

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- PetMed Express Inc., which runs the online pet pharmacy 1-800-PetMeds, said Monday that its net income rose 2.6 percent, as lower costs helped boosted its profitability.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Its shares climbed more than 11 percent in morning trading.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, PetMed earned $4 million, or 20 cents per share, up from $3.9 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue edged down to $58.1 million from $58.2 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 17 cents per share on $57.2 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Total operating expenses fell 5.8 percent to $13 million, as general and administrative, advertising and depreciation expenses all decreased, the company said.

The company said that while its total sales were largely flat, total orders rose 5.5 percent and reorder sales increased 2.1 percent. But sales were hurt by the unavailability of Novartis flea and tick products stemming from the manufacturer's suspension of their production.

Online sales rose 2.9 percent and accounted for about 77 percent of the company's total sales for the recent quarter, up from 74 percent in the year-ago period.

Its shares rose $1.16, or 11.5 percent, to $11.27 in morning trading. They are still down 20 percent from their 52-week high of $14.03 in early May.