PetMed 3rd-qtr net income rises 17 percent

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- PetMed Express Inc., which runs the online pet pharmacy 1-800-PetMeds, said Tuesday that its net income jumped 17 percent as it continued to cut costs.

The Pompano Beach, Fla.-based company said it earned $4.6 million, or 23 cents per share, for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That's up from the $3.9 million, or 19 cents per share, in the 2011 quarter.

Those results beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 18 cents per share, according to research company FactSet.

Revenue slipped 1.8 percent to $49.6 million from $50.5 million the year before. That was slightly ahead of analyst's expectations for $50.3 million in revenue.

The company said that its sales were hurt because Novartis, the drug maker, had suspended production of some brands.

Total operating expenses fell 9.5 percent to $10 million, mainly because the company cut back on advertising.

The company said online sales accounted for 78 percent of the company's sales in the third quarter, up from 77 percent in the 2011 quarter. Reorder sales increased by 1.2 percent.

PetMed Express sells prescription and non-prescription medications for dogs and cats through the phone and on its website

Shares of the company rose 34 cents, or 3 percent, to $11.87 in afternoon trading Tuesday.