Pet Peeve! Sick Of Watching Companies Built For Humans Drive Massive Value In IPO’s, Petco Is Now Going Public.

This Nov. 12, 2018, photo, shows a store sign at a Petco store in Chicago. As demand for healthy, natural food is extending from the grocery store to the pet store, Petco announced Tuesday, Nov. 13 that it will stop selling dog and cat food and treats with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, both online and at its nearly 1,500 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

“Woof!” There it is.

Petco is ready to run with the big dogs again, announcing it will be going public.

Petco Health and Wellness filed an S-1 for an initial public offering as its fortunes improve during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The company aims to hit the Nasdaq with the ticker “WOOF.”

As consumers sought pandemic-driven comforts such as online shopping, home deliveries and communications, the need for adding an animal to the family has driven pet-centric company profits.

The announcement did not include the number of shares available or the pricing.

Founded in 1965, Petco no longer calls itself a retailer, saying it’s a “provider of pet health and wellness offerings.” With 1,470 pet care centers that sell food, toys and supplies, Petco offers professional services such as animal grooming, vet care and pet training.

Petco’s filing cited a 4% increase in total households with pets that would create $4 billion in new demand for pet care products.

Chewy, the online business for PetSmart that went public more than a year ago, has seen its shares rise more than 150% this year.

From Jan. 1 through Oct. 31, 2020, Petco’s net sales rose 9% to $3.58 billion compared with the same time a year ago.

In a story about the IPO appearing in Barron’s:

“Petco isn’t profitable, although losses have narrowed. The company reported $24.8 million in net losses for the 39 weeks ended Oct. 31 compared with roughly $94 million in losses for the comparable period in 2019. … Petco is also highly leveraged. The company had about $3.3 billion in debt outstanding as of Oct. 31, the prospectus said.”

Bloomberg said in September that a sale or IPO of Petco could value the company at $6 billion.

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