Despite Recession, VCA Has Record Profits

VCA Antech Reports Fourth Quarter 2008 Results and Provides Financial Guidance for 2009

* Fourth quarter revenue increased 6.7% to $303.2 million
* Fourth quarter gross profit increased 6.6% to $73.9 million
* Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share increased 3.4%

The report says this has been a hard year for them and they have not been able to sustain the growth of previous years. But with $73.9 million in profit on $303.2 millions in income, their profit margin is 24.4%!!

Imagine, 25% profit in a deep recession. AND, revenues were still up over the year before. Yes, the vet profession is suffering badly, isn't it?

The CEO also stated:

"Although our same-store revenue remained essentially flat during the quarter, our same-store gross profit margin increased to 18.3% compared to 16.2%." This purportedly was caused by cost cutting and each vet having more clients due to "consolidation of operations."

I don't doubt the cost cutting part, but the "expanded revenue base" probably means they are either charging more for each procedure, or performing more procedures for each patient, or both.

Also, they bought 8 vet operations out in the 4th quarter, with an average practice income of $4 million dollars.


Anonymous said...

VCA sent out a memo to their hospitals. They told employees that if someone brought their cat in for a spay or neuter, offer them cat declaw surgery while the cat was under. This way the client saves money on anesthesia. All these employees were getting people to inhumanely declaw their cats. They were basically McDonalds asking people if they wanted fries with their order.

Another memo was sent out telling them to always insist of blood tests with everything. And instead of ordering one xray, order 3-4 xrays of the same area. This is how they do it.

Ed Muzika said...

Yes, but it is hard to find negative comments even on doctors with multiple lawsuits against them, like Fahmi.

I have rarely found complaints mentioned on the state board lookup. Looking up Value Vet, I could only find a total of 5 from 3 different sources, and no dates were given. You can't tell which doc is mentioned.

In any event, we plan to go into far more detail.

Anonymous said...

I've experienced what Commenter #1 is talking about. My dog had a seizure at 2:30 in the morning and my regular vet was closed, so I took her to VCA (I used to go to VCA before I knew better). It's a very unpleasant experience to be sitting in the vet's at three in the morning, worried that your dog is going to die, and be unable to trust what the vet is telling you. I want to do everything I can for my dog, but the vet, who wasn't even that nice, just kept going on and on about what we could "do," meaning what I could pay for - two different blood panels, X-rays, etc. I tried to ask for some kind of prioritization, but it was like EVERYTHING was necessary, with more than just a hint that this whole raft of services was really the only safe way to go. It's designed to make you feel bad if you don't cough up for every single thing right on the spot.

I actually had to ask if my dog was even okay.

They would have taken every single dime from me if they could.