Shares of VCA (WOOF) - Get Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc Class A Report are down 6.6% year to date, but don't put the pet health care purveyor in the doghouse just yet. David Swank, portfolio manager of the Hood River Small-Cap Growth Fund (HRSRX), says lower gas prices are leading to more veterinary spending.
"The company is off to a great start fundamentally this year," says Swank. "They have seen revenue grow at about 8% organically as the consumer has come back to the vet."
The Hood River Small-Cap Growth Fund is down 9.7% thus far in 2016, according to fund-tracker Morningstar. The $117 million fund has returned an average of 10% annually over the past three years, according to Morningstar.
Swank is also bullish on AMN Healthcare Services (AHS) , down 8% so far this year, saying shares of the hospital staffing provider will follow through after the company surpassed Wall Street's fourth-quarter profit estimates last week. He says the company will benefit from the increase in patient volumes in hospitals, as well as the retirement of nurses nationwide.
"They are not constrained so much by demand as by their ability to recruit nurses and doctors to work in hospitals," says Swank.
On Assignment (ASGN) - Get ASGN Inc Report , down 29% thus far in 2016, is another staffing company favored by Swank. He says the stock is getting hammered due to recession fears even though the company has not seen any change in its business environment due to the economy.
"They are set up to grow their top-line at a mid-teens rate this year because last year they implemented a hiring surge for recruiters and as those recruiters get up to speed on productivity, it should help sustain a high rate of growth for them," says Swank.