MWI Veterinary Supply Shares Roared: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of animal health products supplier MWI Veterinary Supply (NAS: MWIV) pawed their way up 12% earlier in the trading session following better-than-expected first-quarter results.

So what: Results this quarter can't be described as anything but phenomenal. Sales for the quarter came in at $461.9 million, which easily snaked past the $441.6 million estimate from S&P Capital IQ and a profit of $1.05 flew past the $0.93 consensus. MWI also raised its fiscal 2012 sales and EPS guidance to $1.90 billion to $1.95 billion and $3.85 to $4 in EPS which is -- you guessed it -- above Wall Street's current forecasts. Other highlights included a 34% jump in Internet sales and a 43% increase in revenue derived from veterinary pharmacy programs.

Now what: As I opined back in July, I feel veterinary-based stocks are a fantastic way to sniff out growth companies -- MWI is a perfect example. Today's results definitively show that animals are considered part of the family now more than ever, and consumers are willing to pay to keep their family members happy and healthy. I'm not certain I'd chase MWI shares higher after the huge run they've had since the year began, but I definitely see a good year in store for the company and the sector as a whole.

Craving more input? Start by adding MWI Veterinary Supply to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up with the latest news on the company.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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