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Why Did These Investors Just Divested From PetMed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS)?

Kyle Sanford

PetMed Express, Inc. and its subsidiaries, doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, operates as a pet pharmacy in the United States. PetMed Express’s insiders have divested from 5.00k shares in the small-cap stock within the past three months. A well-known argument is that insiders divesting from their own companies’ shares sends a pessimistic signal. A two-decade research published in The MIT Press (1998) showed that stocks following insider selling declined 2.7% relative to the market. However, these signals may not be enough to gain conviction on whether to divest. I will be analysing whether these selling activities are supported by favourable future outlook and recent share price volatility.

See our latest analysis for PetMed Express

Which Insiders Are Selling?

NasdaqGS:PETS Insider Trading August 16th 18

There were more PetMed Express insiders that have sold shares than those that have bought. In total, individual insiders own less than one million shares in the business, or around 3.94% of total shares outstanding. The insider that recently sold more shares is Frank Formica (board member) .

Is Future Growth Outlook As Bearish?

NasdaqGS:PETS Future Profit August 16th 18

Analysts’ expectations for earnings over the next 3 years of 3.21% provides a subdued outlook moving forward. Insiders may be more cautious than the market as signalled by their net selling activity. Probing further into annual growth rates, PetMed Express is expected to experience a restrained level of top-line growth over the next year, but a double-digit earnings growth at 14.05%. This may mean the company’s cost-cutting initiative will be significant enough to boost earnings. However, insiders may recognise this is not a sustainable practice and this negative sentiment is evidenced by their net selling activity. Or they may simply view the current share price is well-above the intrinsic value, providing a prime time to sell.

Did Insiders Sell On Share Price Volatility?

An alternative reason for recent trades could be insiders taking advantage of the share price volatility. A correlation could mean directors are trading on market inefficiencies based on their belief of the company’s intrinsic value. Within the past three months, PetMed Express’s share price traded at a high of $46.17 and a low of $33.99. This suggests a relatively high volatility with large change of 35.83%. Insiders may deem this relatively meaningful movement as an opportunity to decrease their shareholdings. Or perhaps their reason to sell is not driven by price or growth prospects and merely by their own personal diversification or monetary needs.

Next Steps:

PetMed Express’s insiders’ meaningful divestments tells us that their shares have recently fallen out of favour, however, this is rather cautious relative to analysts’ earnings expectation, whereas a highly volatile share price could be the driver to sell. However it’s crucial to note that insider divesting may have nothing to do with their views on the company’s future performance. Furthermore, while insider transactions could be a helpful signal, it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision. there are two essential factors you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does PetMed Express have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Other High Quality Alternatives : Are there other high quality stocks you could be holding instead of PetMed Express? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.