Research firm Wedbush Securities kicked off its coverage of online pet food and supplies retailer Chewy.com (CHWY) on Friday with a less-than-enthusiastic neutral rating amid concerns over the company's stock-price valuation relative to profit potential.
Wedbush analyst Seth Basham initiated coverage on Chewy.com with a neutral rating and a $30 price target, noting in a research note to clients that while he sees potential for Chewy to top its near-term revenue forecasts, he sees the shares at current levels as still being overvalued.
Basham, who also noted that he is waiting for a better entry point to raise his rating and price target, said he currently sees the stock being worth closer to $29 a share, including $3 for longer-term international growth.
Vaguely reminiscent of pet supplies online retailer Pets.com's late-1990s IPO, shares of Chewy.com jumped nearly 60% in their first day of trading, giving the company a valuation of $8.77 billion.
However, that's where the similarities end, according to Real Money contributor Timothy Collins.
"You'll likely see a surge in references to the infamous dot.com flop Pets.com that basically marked the top of that era," Collins wrote in a recent RealMoney Pro column on Chewy.com. "The comparisons are fun for nostalgia, but that's where it ends.
"There's a lot to like about a retail business growing sales at 68% while in the billions," as well as earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margins that are "significantly improving," he said.
Shares of Chewy.com were down 4.32% to $32.75 in trading on Friday.
- Real Money Pro: Chewy Aims to Take a Bite Out of the Pet Market on IPO Day
- Real Money Pro: Chewy: Why I am an Enthusiastic Customer but Not a Stockholder