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Henry Schein Closes Merritt Buyout, Expands in Animal Health

Zacks

Henry Schein, Inc. HSIC recently completed the earlier announced buyout of Merritt Veterinary Supplies under certain undisclosed financial terms. With this, Merritt will be part of the veterinary business of Henry Schein, namely, Henry Schein Animal Health.

Merritt is an independent, family-owned supplier of animal health products. Merritt has 4,500 veterinary clinics across the eastern United States, with a strong presence in the southeastern part of the nation. The company offers a comprehensive line of products, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and equipment. Merritt generated revenues of approximately $115 million in 2016.

According to Henry Schein, this acquisition will drive earnings per share after 2017.

Henry Schein has been consistently trying to expand its Animal Health business. The company’s global Animal Health segment witnessed 4.4% improvement in revenues in the last reported second quarter. Recently, Henry Schein Animal Health announced the opening of a new National Distribution Service Center in Columbus' Brookhollow neighborhood, expanding its presence in central Ohio.


At the beginning of 2017, Henry Schein had entered the Brazilian animal health market with a 51% investment in Tecnew, a privately held distributor of animal health products. Prior to that, the company had acquired RxWorks, a leading provider of veterinary practice management software, primarily to customers in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., the Netherlands and other countries.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global animal health market is expected to reach a value of $58.4 billion by 2025. Considering the huge potential of the market, we believe the latest development is strategic.

Over the past year, Henry Schein has underperformed the broader industry. The stock has gained 3.4%, compared with the broader industry’s 10.2% rise.

Estimate Revision Trend

The estimate revision trend has been favorable for the company. For the current quarter, two estimates moved north compared with two movements in the opposite direction over the last month. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter has increased to 90 cents per share from 89 cents.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Henry Schein currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the medical sector are QIAGEN QGEN, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. IDXX and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO. QIAGEN, IDEXX Laboratories and Thermo Fisher carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

QIAGEN has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 13.1%. The stock has rallied roughly 31.9% last year.

IDEXX Laboratories has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%. The stock has gained 42.8% last year.

Thermo Fisher has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 11.7%. The stock has gained 27.2% last year.

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