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

WOOF has been the topic of several recent research reports. Jefferies Group initiated coverage on VCA in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded VCA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on VCA from $68.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. VCA has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.75.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $68.17 and a 200-day moving average of $60.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.85 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.54.

VCA (NASDAQ:WOOF) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.05. The firm earned $653.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $637.18 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.70 EPS. VCA’s revenue was up 19.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that VCA Inc. will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

In other VCA news, VP Neil Tauber sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.24, for a total value 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Arthur J. Antin sold 200,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.04, for a total value of $12,808,000.00. Following the completion of 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 hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. KBC Group NV raised its position in 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 period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in 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 period. US Bancorp DE raised its position in 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 period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in 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 period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in 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 period.

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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