VCA Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $73.13 and last traded at $73.01, with a volume of 286,333 shares. The stock had previously closed at $72.59.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of VCA in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded VCA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on VCA from $68.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock 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 assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.75.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $68.62 and its 200-day moving average price is $60.84. The firm has a market cap of $5.88 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.93.

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

In other VCA news, Director John B. Chickering, Jr. sold 2,302 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.85, for a total value of $163,096.70. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,992 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $778,783.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Josh Drake sold 2,091 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.05, for a total value of $138,110.55. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 59,698 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,943,052.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WOOF. KBC Group NV boosted its stake in shares of VCA by 24.4% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 88,993 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,895,000 after buying an additional 17,429 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake 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 worth $1,476,000 after buying an additional 13,462 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE boosted its stake in shares of VCA by 16.6% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 30,684 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,687,000 after buying an additional 4,369 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake 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 worth $14,322,000 after buying an additional 5,275 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake 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 worth $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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