Shares of VCA Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $71.68 and last traded at $71.47, with a volume of 211,115 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $70.95.

Several research firms recently issued reports on WOOF. Zacks Investment Research downgraded VCA from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Jefferies Group began coverage on VCA in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on VCA from $68.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. VCA currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.75.

The company has a market capitalization of $5.85 billion and a PE ratio of 25.54. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $68.01 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.16.

VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $653.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $637.18 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 19.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.70 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that VCA Inc. will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP Neil Tauber sold 50,000 shares of VCA stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.24, for a total transaction of $3,212,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 174,161 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,188,102.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Arthur J. Antin sold 200,000 shares of VCA stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.04, for a total transaction of $12,808,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 70,870 shares in the company, valued at $4,538,514.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have modified their holdings of the stock. KBC Group NV raised its position in shares of VCA by 24.4% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 88,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,895,000 after buying an additional 17,429 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of VCA by 100.6% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 26,838 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,476,000 after buying an additional 13,462 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its position in shares of VCA by 16.6% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 30,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,687,000 after buying an additional 4,369 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of VCA by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 260,395 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,322,000 after buying an additional 5,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in shares of VCA by 21.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 292,384 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,081,000 after buying an additional 50,966 shares during the last quarter.

VCA Inc is an animal healthcare company. The Company operates through five segments. Its Animal Hospital segment provides veterinary services for companion animals and sells related retail and pharmaceutical products. Its Laboratory segment provides diagnostic laboratory testing services for veterinarians, both associated with its animal hospitals and those independent of the Company.

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