Reviewing Express Scripts (ESRX) & 1-800-PetMeds (PETS)

Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) and 1-800-PetMeds (NASDAQ:PETS) are both medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations and earnings.


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1-800-PetMeds pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Express Scripts does not pay a dividend. 1-800-PetMeds pays out 85.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Express Scripts and 1-800-PetMeds, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Express Scripts 3 11 5 0 2.11
1-800-PetMeds 1 2 2 0 2.20

Express Scripts currently has a consensus price target of $81.82, suggesting a potential upside of 11.34%. 1-800-PetMeds has a consensus price target of $41.00, suggesting a potential upside of 14.85%. Given 1-800-PetMeds’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe 1-800-PetMeds is more favorable than Express Scripts.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

89.3% of Express Scripts shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.4% of 1-800-PetMeds shares are held by institutional investors. 0.8% of Express Scripts shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.0% of 1-800-PetMeds shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Express Scripts has a beta of 0.99, indicating that its share price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, 1-800-PetMeds has a beta of 0.98, indicating that its share price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Express Scripts and 1-800-PetMeds’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Express Scripts $100.06 billion 0.41 $4.52 billion $7.10 10.35
1-800-PetMeds $249.18 million 2.95 $23.81 million $1.17 30.51

Express Scripts has higher revenue and earnings than 1-800-PetMeds. Express Scripts is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than 1-800-PetMeds, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Express Scripts and 1-800-PetMeds’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Express Scripts 4.51% 25.19% 8.00%
1-800-PetMeds 12.84% 34.04% 27.74%


1-800-PetMeds beats Express Scripts on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Express Scripts

Express Scripts Holding Company operates as a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company in the United States and Canada. The company's PBM segment offers clinical solutions; and specialized pharmacy care, home delivery and specialty pharmacy, retail network pharmacy administration, benefit design consultation, drug utilization review, drug formulary management, public exchange, administration of group purchasing organization, and digital consumer health and drug information services. This segment also provides Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance marketplace products; Express Scripts SafeGuardRx, a suite of solutions targeting the therapy classes that pose clinical challenges and budgetary threat to its clients; and Inside Rx, a program that provide affordable access to medication for uninsured and underinsured individuals. Its Other Business Operations segment distributes specialty pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, including injectable and infusible pharmaceuticals and medications to treat specialty and rare/orphan diseases. This segment also provides medical benefit management solutions for radiology, cardiology, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep disorders, post-acute care, genetic lab, specialty pharmacy, and medical oncology. The company serves managed care organizations, health insurers, third-party administrators, employers, union-sponsored benefit plans, workers' compensation plans, government health programs, providers, clinics, hospitals, and others. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 4 automated dispensing home delivery pharmacies; 1 non-automated dispensing home delivery pharmacy; 7 non-dispensing order processing centers; 5 patient contact centers; 9 specialty home delivery pharmacies; and 34 specialty branch pharmacies. The company was formerly known as Aristotle Holding, Inc. and changed its name to Express Scripts Holding Company in April 2012. Express Scripts Holding Company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Saint Louis, Missouri.

About 1-800-PetMeds

PetMed Express, Inc. and its subsidiaries, doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, operates as a pet pharmacy in the United States. The company markets prescription and non-prescription pet medications, health products, and supplies for dogs and cats to retail customers. It provides non-prescription medications and supplies, such as flea and tick control products, bone and joint care products, vitamins, treats, nutritional supplements, hygiene products, and supplies; and prescription medications, including heartworm preventatives, flea and tick preventatives, arthritis, thyroid, diabetes, pain medications, antibiotics, and other specialty medications, as well as generic substitutes. The company also sells food, beds, crates, stairs, strollers, and other pet supplies through its Website. It markets its products through Internet; telephone contact center; and direct mail/print through 1-800-PetMeds catalogs, brochures, and postcards under various brands. PetMed Express, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida.

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