Chewy Climbs as Jefferies Upgrade Cites Pet-Care Potential - TheStreet

Chewy Climbs as Jefferies Upgrade Cites Pet-Care Potential

Jefferies Analyst Stephanie Wissink nearly doubled her price target on Chewy, citing pet-care-industry trends.
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Online-pet-products retailer Chewy  (CHWY) - Get Report should benefit from increasing pet ownership, according to a Jefferies analyst, who upgraded the company to buy from hold.

Analyst Stephanie Wissink also nearly doubled her share-price target, to $100 from $59, after taking over coverage of the company.

Shares of the Dania Beach, Fla., company at last check were 4.3% higher at $67.67.

Wissink said in an investors' note that she has a positive view of pet industry dynamics, particularly pet adoption by the digitally fluent. 

The analyst said Chewy, along with pet-food company Freshpet  (FRPT) - Get Report and pet medication company PetIQ  (PETQ) - Get Report, should benefit from the rapid evolution of the global pet-care industry. That effort should result in U.S. sales of about $64 billion in 2024.

Chewy's "moat is widening with several levers to hedge growth moderation" of the core business, she said.

Wissink said that pet ownership “has increased as incomes have risen globally,” with millennials and Generation Z becoming a “larger share of pet parents, as they are having children at a later age than previous generations."

The analyst noted that the pet-food category is relatively resilient during a recession. Pet owners “do not penalize pets” during economic downturns, she said.

Wissink said that more than a third of respondents to a recent survey have gotten a pet since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The outbreak has driven more online ordering of pet products, the analyst said.

Roughly 27% of respondents are buying food and supplies online, the survey found.

Last month Chewy posted better-than-expected second-quarter revenue, as stay-at-home orders caused by the pandemic boosted online sales of pet products.