Stock to Watch: Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENTA)

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., November 7, 2019 – Shares of Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENTA) showed the bearish trend with a lower momentum of -0.46% to $29.05. The company traded total volume of 20.343K shares as contrast to its average volume of 284.98K shares. The company has a market value of $1.28B and about 43.96M shares outstanding.

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) reported 7.4% increase in total net sales to $706.60M compared to $657.90M in the third quarter a year ago, driven in large part by the acquisition of the remaining interest in Arden Companies, in February 2019, as well as organic growth in the Garden segment. Total Company organic sales increased 0.6%. Branded product sales of $565.60M increased 9.4%, and sales of other manufacturers’ products of $141.00M were relatively flat.

Third quarter operating income increased to $68.90M from $60.80M in the third quarter a year ago. Operating margin increased 50 basis points to 9.7% compared to 9.2%, due in part to a higher gross margin, which increased 30 basis points, as well as lower SG&A as a percent of sales. The gross margin improvement was aided by pricing and the benefits of the Company’s systematic cost savings program. Corporate expenses for the period remained flat but included non-recurring costs of $1.70M related to both the resolution of a legal matter and CEO search expenses incurred during the quarter. EBITDA for the quarter was $82.00M versus $73.40M in the third quarter a year ago.

Other income declined to $0.20M compared to $2.10M in the third quarter a year ago, primarily due to the absence of income from the Company’s Arden business, which now is consolidated in the Garden segment.

Net income of $46.20M increased 11.1% from $41.50M in the third quarter a year ago. Earnings per diluted share increased to $0.80 in the quarter compared to $0.79 in the third quarter a year ago. The increase occurred despite a 5.40M or 10.3% increase in the number of shares outstanding compared to a year ago, which reduced EPS by approximately eight cents.

The stock, as of recent close, has shown the weekly upbeat performance of 2.69% which was maintained at -6.61% in this year.