PetMed Express says ad ineffectiveness played a role in revenue and lost sales

PetMed Express Inc. PETS,
-2.11%
shares fell 11% in premarket trading Monday after the pet pharmacy company announced first-quarter earnings and sales that beat Street’s expectations. Net income was $4.4 million, or 22 cents per share, down from $7.8 million or 39 cents per share last year. Revenue was $79.3 million, down $96.2 million. FactSet’s consensus was earnings per share of 37 cents and revenue of $87.7 million. During the quarter, the company charged $717,000 for the separation agreement with the CEO, and $260,000 for brand and marketing consulting fees. “[D]During the most recent quarter, as the pandemic eased and stores reopened, the ad market quickly recovered and demand drove ad prices up dramatically,” Chief Executive Mendo Akdag said in a statement. Akdag will announce the company on July 30. “As a result, our ad spend delivered fewer ad impressions than in previous years. Therefore, we believe our advertising spend in the most recent quarter was less effective at attracting new customers.” PetMed also says direct purchase of medications from veterinarians during annual surveys has depressed quarterly results. “We would expect that stronger backorder sales in the second half of FY 2022 as we expect more regulations to be extended,” Akdag said. Pet adoption surged during the pandemic. PetMed also announced a 30 cents per share dividend, payable on 13 December. August 2021 to shareholders of record as of August 6, 2021. PetMed shares are down 13.4% so far, while the S&P 500 index SPX,
+1.01%
gained 17.5% over the period.

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