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Dull MFA & Mineral Nutrition Sales Hurt Phirbo, Rivalry Rife

On Nov 9, we issued an updated research report on Phibro Animal Health Corporation PAHC. The company has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

This is a New Jersey-based leading globally diversified animal health and mineral nutrition company. Over the last three months, it has been trading above the broader industry. The stock has declined 8.7% compared with a 3.1% gain of the broader industry.

Notably, Phibro ended the second quarter of fiscal 2017 on a mixed note with the bottom line exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues declining marginally on a year-over-year basis. Segment-wise, Medicated feed additives (MFA) business was weak in the United States. $4.2 million of that business decline was due to reduced sales of medically important antimicrobials, primarily on the change in consumer preferences and the less use of certain antimicrobials in the market. This apart, an unfavorable timing of certain customer orders hampered the business.

Also, a persistent decline in Mineral Nutrition segment sales is likely to be a drag on business. Customer consolidation can also affect Phibro’s revenues. Plus, an unfavorable currency movement and a tough competitive scenario continue to pose as other headwinds.

On a positive note, Animal Health has continued to remain a key contributor, delivering growth over the last few quarters. Per Phibro, its animal health products are excellent in preventing, controlling and treating diseases in animals as well as increasing nutrition to improve health. We believe, a diverse product portfolio will allow the company to address the distinct growing conditions of livestock in different regions of the world.

Phibro has extended its reach beyond the United States to enter Brazil and other countries in South America, China, India and Asia Pacific, Russia and Africa. This we feel will help the company counter competition.

The company continues to invest in the Far East Asia where the poultry and dairy industries are expected to grow exponentially. The company currently expands its dairy business in the markets of Australia, Brazil and Mexico. We believe that despite the economic turmoil in Russia, Greece, Brazil and China, Phibro has performed quite well and has the potential to maintain the momentum.

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector are PetMed Express, Inc. PETS, Luminex Corp. LMNX and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. ISRG. While PetMed and Luminex sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Intuitive Surgical carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PetMed has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 10%. The stock has surged roughly 78.6% over the last year.

Luminex has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 16.3%. The stock has gained 1.9% in the last year.

Intuitive Surgical has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 9.1%. The stock has surged 85.2% in the last year.

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