5 Best Stocks for Animal Lovers Picked From ProShares PAWZ ETF

In this article we discuss the 5 best stocks for animal lovers. If you want to read our methodology and a more extensive list of pets stocks, please visit 10 Best Stocks for Animal Lovers.

5. AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE: ABC)

Number of HFs: 43
Value of HF Holdings: $1.18 billion
Rank in PAWZ: 23
Weight in PAWZ: 1.0%

Shares of AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NASDAQ: ABC) outperformed the broader market index so far in 2021 on the back of improving fundamentals. In addition to share price gains, the company offers a dividend yield of 1.51%. At the end of the first quarter, a total of 43 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -9% from the fourth quarter of 2020. On the other hand, there were a total of 41 hedge funds with a bullish position in ABC a year ago.

Best Stocks For Animal Lovers

4. Colgate- Palmolive (NYSE: CL)

Number of HFs: 48
Value of HF Holdings: $2.3 billion
Rank in PAWZ: 11
Weight in PAWZ: 3.7%

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) is a company that markets health care and personal care products. It is also on our list of 13 stocks to buy amid rising inflation. The company has one of the most recognizable brand names in the world, and the pricing power that comes with it, that it can fall back on in the case of inflation. The company’s shares have returned more than 10% to investors in the past year. Colgate-Palmolive has a market cap of close to $70 billion and posted $16 billion in revenue last year.

On June 18, investment advisory Evercore maintained an Outperform rating on Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) stock with a price target of $95, implying upside potential of 15%, noting the company’s pricing power in emerging markets like Brazil and China.

Out of the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm First Eagle Investment Management is a leading shareholder in Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) with 11.9 million shares worth more than $940 million.

Here is what First Eagle Investment Management has to say about Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) in its Q1 2021 investor letter:

“The leading detractors in the quarter (included) Colgate-Palmolive Company. After a strong 2020 fueled in part by lockdown-driven demand, consumer staples stocks generally cooled during the first quarter as investors shifted attention to the more economically sensitive areas of the market likely to benefit from re-openings and improved discretionary spending. The effects of this rotation could be seen in the share price underperformance of names like Colgate-Palmolive.”

3. IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX)

Number of HFs: 49
Value of HF Holdings: $2.85 billion
Rank in PAWZ: 1
Weight in PAWZ: 10.2%

Headquartered in Westbrook, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. distributes products and services to veterinaries, dairy markets and livestock poultry. The company first listed on NASDAQ in 1991. At first quarter’s end, a total of 49 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 7% from one quarter earlier. More specifically, Fundsmith LLP was the largest shareholder of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDXX), with a stake worth $2065.2 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Fundsmith LLP was Marshall Wace LLP, which amassed a stake valued at $125.2 million. Echo Street Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital Management, and Select Equity Group were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Fundsmith LLP allocated the biggest weight to IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDXX), around 6.57% of its 13F portfolio. Montanaro Asset Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 3.89 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to IDXX.

Baron Partners Fund, in its Q1 2021 investor letter, mentioned IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX), and shared their insights on the company:

“Shares of veterinary diagnostics leader IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. detracted from performance in the quarter as part of a broader rotation away from high-multiple growth stocks. Veterinary visits continued to increase, with practice revenue growing at double-digit rates. IDEXX’s competitive trends are outstanding, and we expect new proprietary innovations and field sales force expansion to be meaningful contributors to growth. Margins are moving significantly higher, and we believe that margins can exceed 30% over time.”

2. Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS)

Number of HFs: 58
Value of HF Holdings: $3.12 billion
Rank in PAWZ: 3
Weight in PAWZ: 9.6%

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) is a drug company that is the largest medicine maker for pets and livestock. It is ranked second on our list of the 10 best stocks for animal lovers. The stock has returned more than 39% to investors over the past year. It markets a variety of products like vaccines and other pharmaceutical offerings for cattle, swine, poultry, fish, sheep, dogs, cats, and horse, among others. The company has a market cap of close to 490 billion and posted $6.6 billion in revenue last year.

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) is a solid option for dividend growth investors. On May 20, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share, in line with previous. The forward yield was 0.57%.

At first quarter’s end, a total of 58 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -5% from the fourth quarter of 2020. Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Marshall Wace LLP, managed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, holds the biggest position in Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS). Marshall Wace LLP has a $420.2 million position in the stock, comprising 1.9% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, which holds a $378.6 million position; 0.4% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock.

1. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK)

Number of HFs: 79
Value of HF Holdings: $6.49 billion
Rank in PAWZ: 10
Weight in PAWZ: 4.1%

Merck is an American pharmaceutical company manufacturing medicines for some life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, HIV, Ebola, etc. The company is widely known for its philanthropic actions and spent nearly $3.1 billion philanthropic actions in 2019. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is one of the biggest companies with over 74,000 employees.

In Q1 2021, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) reported a revenue of over $12 billion and $1.40 EPS, missing the market estimate of $1.63. The MRK stock has also shown consistent growth, gaining over 4.8% in the past year, and is ranked as ‘Overweight’ by JPMorgan, earlier in June. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.65 per share.

At the end of Q1 2021, 79 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey hold positions in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), worth $6.4 billion.

Artisan Partners, an investment management firm, released its Q1 2021 investor letter and mentioned Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) in it. Here is what the firm has to say:

“In Q1, we initiated a position in Merck, a provider of health care solutions including prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health and consumer care products. We purchased Merck when the stock came under pressure in part on concerns that the newly minted Biden administration could implement regulatory changes and lower drug costs in the pharmaceutical industry. Recent, but anticipated changes to Merck’s management team have also weighed on shares, as have concerns over the company’s heavy reliance on immunotherapy treatment Keytruda. Notably, Merck is not getting much credit from investors for the 60+ programs it has in clinical development, despite having several solid and large new product opportunities. Additionally, the company’s strong balance sheet and robust free cash flow provide it multiple options for future partnerships and acquisitions. While Merck is undergoing a period of transition, we think the company’s fundamentals are strong and believe changes to management should be a catalyst for improvement.”

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