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PetMed Express Inc (PETS) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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PetMed Express Inc (NASDAQ: PETS)
Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Oct 26, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning. Welcome to the PetMed Express Incorporated, doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, Conference Call to Review the Financial Results for the Second Fiscal Quarter for the quarter ended on September 30, 2020. At the request of the company, this conference call is being recorded.

Founded in 1996, 1-800-PetMeds is America's most trusted pet pharmacy, delivering prescription and non-prescription pet medications and other health products for dogs, cats and horses, direct to the consumer. 1-800-PetMeds markets its product through national advertising campaigns which direct consumers to order by phone or on the Internet, and aim to increase the recognition of the PetMeds family of brand names. 1-800-PetMeds provides an attractive alternative for obtaining pet medications in terms of convenience, price, ease of ordering and rapid home delivery.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to the company's Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Bruce Rosenbloom.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you. I would like to welcome everybody here today. Unfortunately, due to a personal matter, Mendo Akdag, our President and Chief Executive Officer is unable to attend this morning's conference call. I would like to remind everyone that the first portion of this conference call will be listen-only, until the question-and-answer session, which will be later in the call.

Also, certain information that will be included in this press conference may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or the Securities and Exchange Commission, that may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on our beliefs, as well as assumptions we have used, based upon information currently available to us. Because these statements reflect our current views concerning future events, these statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions.

Actual future results may vary significantly based on a number of factors that may cause the actual results or events to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these statements. We have identified various risk factors associated with our operations in our most recent Annual Report and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Thank you for joining us, and we hope everyone is continuing to stay safe and healthy.

During the September quarter, consumer demand settled down due to a combination of vet clinics and brick and mortar pet retailers opening up, and consumers having stocked up in the June quarter. We have been open during our normal business hours without any material disruption to our operations. We are still taking measures to ensure the health and safety of our dedicated employees by allowing them to work from home where possible and continuing with social distancing and enhanced disinfection in the workplace. Also, we have not seen any major disruptions in our supply chain. However, we have experienced some delays in the delivery of the slow-to-medium moving inventory items.

Now we will compare our second fiscal quarter ended on September 30, 2020 to last year's quarter ended on September 30, 2019. For the second fiscal quarter ended on September 30, 2020, our sales were $75.4 million compared to $69.9 million for the same period, the prior year, an increase of 7.9%. For the six months ended on September 30, 2020, sales were $171.6 million compared to $149.9 million for the six months, the prior year, an increase of 14.5%. The increases in sales were due to increases in reorder sales for the quarter, and increases for both new order and reorder sales for the six months.

The average order value was approximately $87 for the quarter compared to $85 for the same period last year. For the second fiscal quarter, net income was $8.4 million or $0.42 diluted per share compared to $6.7 million or $0.33 diluted per share for the same quarter, the prior year, an increase to net income of 26%. And for the six months, net income was $16.2 million or $0.81 diluted per share compared to $12 million or $0.60 diluted per share a year ago, an increase to net income of 35%.

Reorder sales increased by 9.6% to $67.8 million for the quarter compared to reorder sales of $61.9 million for the same quarter, the prior year. And for the six months, reorder sales increased by 14.3% to $148.2 million compared to $129.6 million for the same period last year.

New order sales decreased by 5% to $7.7 million for the quarter compared to $8.1 million for the same period, the prior year. And for the six months, new order sales increased by 15.4% to $23.5 million compared to $20.3 million for the same period last year. We acquired approximately 96,000 new customers in our second fiscal quarter compared to 98,000 for the same period, the prior year. And we acquired approximately 282,000 new customers in the six months, compared to 238,000 for the same period a year ago.

Seasonality in our business is due to the proportion of flea, tick and heartworm medications in our product mix. Spring and summer are considered peak season, with fall and winter being the off-season. For the second fiscal quarter, our gross profit as a percentage of sales was 30.5% compared to 28.6% for the same period, the prior year. And for the six months, our gross profit as a percentage of sales was 29% compared to 27.9% for the same period a year ago.

Gross margins improved by 190 basis points for the September quarter and by 110 basis points for the six months. The increases were due to the benefit of having direct relationships with all major manufacturers and these manufacturers had Minimum Advertised Price Policies. Also, our product mix shifted to higher margin prescription medications during the September quarter, compared to the June quarter.

General and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales were 9% for both the quarter and the same quarter last year. For the quarter, we spent $5.1 million in advertising, compared to $4.8 million for the same quarter, the prior year, an increase of 8%. For the six months, we spent $14.2 million in advertising, compared to $13.4 million for the six months a year ago, an increase of 6%. The advertising cost of acquiring a customer was approximately $54 for the quarter compared to $49 for the same quarter, the prior year. And for the six months, it was $50 compared to $56 for the six months last year. The increase for the quarter was due to increases in advertising costs.

We had $106.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and $21.5 million in inventory with no debt as of September 30, 2020. Net cash from operations for the six months was $15.2 million compared to $17.3 million for the same period last year.

This ends the financial review. Operator, we are ready to take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you, Mr. Rosenbloom. [Operator Instructions] Our first question is from Erin Wright with Credit Suisse. Your line is open.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Hi. Thanks. What's your mix of over-the-counter versus prescription medications now? Has it meaningfully changed here? And can you remind us of the profit profile, OTC versus prescription, and particularly given this MAPP pricing strategy that has been implemented? Thanks.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure thing. If you remember the call in the June quarter, we saw an uptick in OTC. a bit -- a little bit more uncharacteristic, the increase is little bit -- it was different from our normal mix. The September quarter was more of a normalized mix, although we did see a bit of an increase in Rx over OTC. And, obviously, as we mentioned previously, prescription medications have a higher margin profile than the OTC products.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Would you say that prescription is over half now in terms of...

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Over half of our total sales?

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Yeah.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Oh, yes, definitely much more than half.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then on the stickiness of the COVID-driven customer base, I guess, how much, if there, is a paradigm shift to online versus just some stockpiling given COVID? I'm curious kind of how we should be thinking about sort of new customer growth over the balance of the year and what you're seeing in terms of that COVID-driven customer base.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Right. Overall demand has settled down with a combination of vet clinics and brick and mortar pet stores opening up, and also, as you mentioned, consumers stocking up in the June quarter. Also our new website platform might have had a temporary negative effect on our natural search during the quarter, which may have negatively impacted our new orders sales in the short-term and what we saw in the September quarter. We are now in the second phase of our e-commerce platform. We are now focusing on redesigning our website and mobile app to optimize our customers' digital experience, which should improve our new customer conversion in the future.

As far as COVID, I mean, it's really an unknown right now. Obviously, we're seeing cases increasing overall in majority of the states in the U.S. So we'll just have to see how that -- how those trends, overall, affect our business. As of right now, we did see demand settle down with the opening of those clinics in the retail stores. But overall, we've seen reorders become extremely strong and it may also be because of the increased new customers that we were able to take in for the six -- for the first six months of our fiscal year.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you for your question. Our next question is from Anthony Lebiedzinski with Sidoti & Company. Your line is open, sir.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Yes. Good morning, Bruce, and thanks for taking the questions. So...

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

I guess my first question. So kind of looking back now at the first half of the fiscal year, you mentioned that there was some -- it sounds like some pull forward of demand into June quarter. Any way you could possibly maybe try to quantify how much you think you saw a pull forward into the June quarter?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

We usually don't like to quantify to give that information. Now, we do know what that number is internally. Again, it's also -- as we mentioned, we were in the -- in our first phase of our website, our new e-commerce platform, and so that may have negatively impacted reorders as well. So it's -- we have an estimate, there's a few assumptions involved with that. But we're not really prepared to give that number out at this time.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Okay, that's fair enough. And then, so as far as the second phase of the website improvement, when do you expect to have that completed?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, our target date is during this third quarter. So, hopefully by the end of the year, we should be launched fully with both the redesign of the website and also the mobile app.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Got it, OK. And then you mentioned ad spending being up. I know in the past, you've had increases in cost because of the election. Was the increase in advertising spending because of that or was there something else going on?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

It did have probably a small effect. But I think, overall, it was more of a normalized increase in overall keyword search. That's the majority of our online spend. Advertising costs increased during the quarter, we saw increased competition, as well with the vet clinics and also increased competition with online keyword searches as well. But we'll always attempt to be more aggressive during peak season when our demand is strong. As you know, we have a flexible ad budget and our advertising spending is also going to depend on the return on investment.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Got it, OK. And then last question for me. So now you're moving into the off-season, typically the gross margins for you guys are higher in the off-peak second fiscal -- second half of the fiscal year. So you had a nice improvement in the gross margin on a year-over-year basis, as well as sequentially. So with that in mind, should we expect further sequential improvement, in the back half, of the gross margin or how should we think about that?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

We don't manage the margins quarter-to-quarter. As you know, we sort of look at margins on annualized basis. I mean, annually, there is an opportunity for modest margin improvement year-over-year and we expect that to continue. If there's an opportunity to maximize margins, we're going to go ahead and do that. But also we want to remain competitive on the price -- with pricing and, of course, win that pricing in place, and we also want to be competitive with the other players in our space as far as promotions and offers. So we'll see how it shapes up. But you're right, our traditionally -- the trends have been historically that margins will rise during the off-season and that's also because we tend to see more of a shift to prescription over OTC during those time periods.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Got it. All right. Thank you.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Thank you for your question. [Operator Instructions] Our next question is from Ben Rose with Battle Road Research. Your line is open, sir.

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Yes. Thank you and good morning, Bruce.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, Ben.

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Few questions, first off, in terms of the advertising and promotion this quarter, was there anything done to perhaps incentivize or focus people more on the prescription side of the business or was this just sort of a natural trend back to your typical mix of prescription versus OTC?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, it was more of a movement to our typical trend. And again, we've always -- we have seen a rising increase in our mix more toward prescription than over-the-counter. Obviously, veterinarians are recommending more prescription products, more so than OTC. And, obviously, we prefer to be more skewed toward prescription, which have higher margin profile. So it was more of a return to a normalized state, although, I did mention, prescription medications did see a bit of an uptick during this quarter year-over-year. I think June was more of an anomaly. I think it was more so with both brick and mortar and veterinarians having limited hours. The new line -- new customers moved toward online and those online customers were purchasing over-the-counter products.

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Okay, great. And sorry, Bruce, just to clarify one thing you said about the website redesign in the first phase. Did you say that that may have had a negative impact on the reorder rate this quarter?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, it's possible. With that new e-commerce platform, it had a negative impact on our natural search, so that took a while to get back to its normalized stage. With where they are currently, we expect, with many of the changes we have made, we should see an improvement in our new customer conversion in the future.

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Okay. And on the inventory situation, it looks like you did work down quite a bit of inventory in the quarter, which was a concern of some heading into this quarter. In your prepared remarks, you mentioned that there were some delays in the slow-to-medium moving items, which, I guess, in the grand scheme of things, is less concerning. Can you speak to just the overall supply chain environment, albeit heading into the weaker season, but just your -- speak to the confidence of your own ability to procure the lion's share of the medications that you need.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Right. Again, your inventory will fluctuate based on promotional buying opportunities. We mentioned back in the June quarter, we did make a conscious decision to stock up due to the uncertainty that COVID present in itself. Overall, with the cost advantage, we'll carry higher inventory during the pandemic. We did look to carry more inventory to minimize any related delays. We did see those delays in some of our small-to-medium movers, more manufacturer backorder-type delays, also shipment or lead-time delays. Some of those delays, we should be able to rectify with increased -- with an increased inventory purchase. Some, we may not be able to. They're more manufacturer-driven delays.

So we'll see. Where we can stock up, we will. I would not expect to stock up like we saw in the June quarter, where inventories were in excess of $40 million. But we will try to stock up inventory to make sure that we can minimize any type of COVID-related delays for our customers.

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thanks very much.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Thank you for your question. Our next one's from Kevin Ellich with Ace Research. Your line is open.

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

Hey, Bruce. Thanks for taking the questions. So going back to the new customers that you added for the quarter, it was a little bit lower than we've seen for -- in your fiscal second quarter over the last several years with the V-shaped recovery we've seen in vet visits in the September quarter. Do you think this is more a function of competition or what do you think's driving that?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Look, I mean, again, competition does play a role. I think more importantly, it was the combination, as I mentioned, the combination of vet clinics and brick and mortar pet stores opening up. We also had that temporary negative effect on our natural search, which also affected possibly new customers, as well. So, as I mentioned, I think moving into the off-season, we definitely have an opportunity to improve on our new customers. I think, overall, for the six months, we are fairly satisfied with the result. We'll continue to make improvements and tweak advertising where need be, and and we'll see if we can rectify that temporary downswing.

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

Got it, got it. And then it looks like -- one metric I track is new customer transaction size, which seems like it's been -- it's down a little bit this year. You think that's more a function of COVID or is it MAPP pricing or kind of all of the above?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I'm not sure exactly what measures you're referring to. But overall, those definitely have a play when it comes to new order advertised. Also, in new orders, we do tend to be a little bit more promotional to attract new customers to be competitive with others in our space.

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

Got it, got it. And then lastly, capex was a little bit higher this quarter. Is that a function of the website, just some seasonality spend?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Correct. Yeah, 100%. That was the website. And we really don't expect any material capital expenditures moving forward, more maintenance mode, and, I mean, overall, it should be fairly minimal.

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

Got it. And then lastly, again, gross margin, much better than expected. I know, seasonally, Q2 is your strongest quarter probably of the year. Well, it's been a little indifferent the last couple of years. But do you think we'll continue to see that sort of strength for the remainder of the year?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

As I mentioned to Anthony earlier, again, prices, overall, stabilized in the market with the manufacturers enforcing the Minimum Advertised Price Policies. Our product mix was different from what we saw in the June quarter. So those all contributed to increase to our margins. The bottom line is that we have -- if we have increased prescription sales, we're going to probably have higher margins. The one area that could have a negative effect to margins would be promotions for new customers. So if we have a quarter where we are positive in new customers, that could have a negative impact on margins. But where the gross margins end up will be dependent on our product mix and, again, looking at it from quarter-to-quarter can be difficult, but I think, overall, year-over-year, we expect to see modest improvements in margins.

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

Sounds good. Thank you.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Thank you for your question. We have a follow-up from Erin Wright with Credit Suisse. Your line is reopened.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks for taking the follow-up, Bruce.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Has anything changed in terms of your manufacturer relationships? I guess, any new relationships or is it relatively status quo? And were there increases in MAPP pricing? I guess, how do those contracts typically work?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Right. Again, when we talk about the manufacturer -- direct relationships with manufacturers, it's really talking about the large five manufacturers there. We do have direct relationships with -- which -- many -- or at least two or three were initiated in 2019. So, yes, I mean, we do have contractual relationships with them. They have been enforcing MAPP pricing which has stabilized prices in the online space. And what's helpful when they have their price -- when manufacturers increase their prices, they also increase MAPP. So that also helps, as well, as far as margins and also the price of inventory.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, great, thanks. And then a one-off question here, just on generics. I guess, do you have any metrics on the generic prescription dispensing rate versus brand and [Speech Overlap] at all, given the manufacturer relationships?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, and we do, I mean, not materially. I mean, many of the manufacturers prefer us to promote their brands and they will give us incentives to promote their brands, say, over generics. But I would say our generics are up year-over-year. But, overall, it's still about the same as a percentage of sales.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

And there is still no, I guess, seamless way to do generic substitution. Correct?

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

It doesn't -- the current rules and regulations -- the pharmacy rules and regulations definitely prohibit that seamless generic substitution that is present for human pharmacies and for human physicians. So if there is a change, we do have to go back to the vets for their approval. So that does make it a little bit more difficult. But for the most part, our relationships with the vets are probably at the best point it's ever been. Our authorization rates are probably at its current peak. And so when we do go back to the vets for generic substitute, more often than not, their answer is yes.

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, all right, great. Thank you.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Erin.

Operator

Thank you for your question. I will now turn our call back over to Bruce Rosenbloom, the company Chief Financial Officer for closing remarks.

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you. In fiscal 2021, we are focusing on redesigning our website and mobile app to optimize our customers' digital experience. Thank you very much. This wraps up today's conference call. Thanks for joining us. Operator, this ends the conference call.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 27 minutes

Call participants:

Bruce S. Rosenbloom -- Chief Financial Officer

Erin Wright -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Ben Rose -- Battle Road Research -- Analyst

Kevin Ellich -- Ace Research -- Analyst

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