Petsmart Stock

PetSmart Stock Price and Symbol

9 min read

What is PetSmart’s stock price, and are they publicly traded? Unfortunately, investors cannot purchase PetSmart shares because it is a private company. However, Chewy (NYSE: CHWY), Petco (NASDAQ: WOOF), and Trupanion (NASDAQ: TRUP) are pet store stocks that traders can invest in.

For millions of Americans, there is nothing more important than their pets. Whether you are a dog or cat person or even a fish-lover, pets are a source of happiness and love. But what comes with owning a pet? Tens of thousands of dollars in expenses each year. Some pets can cost you an arm and a leg, from vet visits to food to flea medication. You can easily find yourself spending a small fortune at pet shops.

As an investor, that should catch your attention. If you asked me which pet store chains come to mind, I would immediately think of Petsmart. Why? They’re everywhere! It feels like every mall or shopping area in America has one. As per a report from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 60 million cats and nearly 90 million dogs in the United States as pets. Those numbers alone make me want to invest in Petsmart stock. 

This article will discuss Petsmart’s corporate history, investing in the company, and investing in the pet care industry. 

Petsmart is North America’s largest pet store chain, with over 1,660 stores across the United States and Canada. Jim and Janice Dougherty founded The company in 1986 in Phoenix—Arizona. PedFood Warehouse was the first store Dougherty opened before it changed its name to PetSmart in 1989. 

As Petsmart expanded across the country, it introduced the new concept of a large pet superstore that is brightly lit and a one-stop shop for all pet owners. These new superstores were designed to be the pet store equivalent of a Walmart or Target

By 1996, Petsmart had opened more than 300 locations across America. It began expanding into Canada, where it operates more than 160 stores. Petsmart attempted to expand into the United Kingdom, but the venture didn’t last long and cost Petsmart a substantial loss. 

In 1993, Petsmart went public through an IPO to trade on the NASDAQ exchange. The company traded publicly until 2015 when a group of private equity investors led by BC Partners acquired Petsmart. 

Part of the reason that Petsmart was acquired was that the company was experiencing declining sales and profits. It was due to increased competition from digital platforms like Amazon. In response, Petsmart acquired the online pet supplies retailer Chewy in 2017. 

Today, Petsmart remains North America’s largest pet supply brand, earning nearly $10 billion in annual revenue in 2023. Petsmart has grown from pet food to supplies, boarding, and grooming and has even partnered with Banfield to provide veterinary services. The company has long supported pet adoption and will not sell dogs or cats to customers unless it is through an adoption program. 

Can I Buy Petsmart Stock?

Unfortunately, in 2015, Petsmart stopped trading on the stock market when the company went private. Therefore, there is no PetSmart stock. The company traded on the NASDAQ exchange in 1993 under the PETM ticker. If you want to invest in Petsmart today, you won’t be able to do so through the stock market. 

Why isn’t Petsmart a public company? The private equity firm BC Partners owns it. They have over $40 billion in assets under management. This company is one of the largest European private equity firms and owns major stakes in businesses like Migros Turk, Turkey’s largest supermarket chain, and Vivacom, Bulgaria’s largest telecom company. 

Petsmart will remain a private company as long as BC Partners owns it. Please note that BC Partners is also Chewy’s majority owner, a publicly traded online pet supply site. But we’ll talk about Chewy a little bit later in this article.

PetSmart Stock Competitors

If you insist on investing in pets and pet supplies, options are available on the stock market. Petsmart is not a public company, but it doesn’t mean other pet brands are not. Here are some pet stocks to add to your watchlist instead of buying Petsmart stock!

PetSmart Stock

1. Chewy (NYSE: CHWY)

Chewy is an American online pet food and supplies retailer established in 2009. It was founded by Ryan Cohen, now famously the Executive Chairman of GameStop (NYSE: GME). Chewy’s stock debuted on Wall Street during its IPO in 2010 when it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CHWY. 

As with most online retailers, Chewy thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet owners who could not access pet stores flocked to Chewy’s online site. Chewy even added a virtual service called Connect With a Vet for one of the first pet-based telehealth platforms. Later that year, Chewy would also produce and fulfill pet prescription orders. 

BC Partners owns Chewy and Petsmart, although the two brands were acquired at different times. Chewy was a subsidiary of Petsmart, and the company transferred its ownership stake in Chewy to BC Partners in 2018. You can trade Chewy, but there’s no PetSmart stock. 

2. Petco (NASDAQ: WOOF)

Petsmart’s largest competitor, Petco, is a publicly traded company. As a mail-order company, this brand started in 1965 in San Diego, California. Petco opened its first brick-and-mortar store in 1976, and today, it operates more than 1,500 locations across the United States and Mexico. 

In January 2021, Petco went public for the third time via an IPO with a new ticker symbol: WOOF. It’s been a rocky ride for shareholders as the price of WOOF is down by nearly 90% since its inception.

In 2023, there were rumors that Petco was close to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and earlier in 2024, Petco’s CEO abruptly stepped down. It hasn’t been the best stock to own since its IPO, but WOOF is a way to gain exposure to pet stores. 

3. Trupanion (NASDAQ: TRUP)

You probably don’t know much about Trupanion unless you own a pet. This company is a Seattle-based pet insurance provider that started in 1999. Trupanion operates in Australia, Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico. 

Despite being a small company, Trupanion filed for its IPO in 2014, raising more than $71 million. Regarding pet stocks, Trupanion has been one of the best performers. Since its inception in 2014, TRUP shares have returned more than 150% to shareholders. The stock is a component of the S&P 600 small-cap index and the Russell 2000

4. Freshpet (NASDAQ: FRPT)

Freshpet is an American pet food company that makes refrigerated food options for dogs and cats. The company was founded in 2006 and went public on the NASDAQ index in 2014. As of May 2024, Freshpet has a market capitalization of $6.3 billion and is a component of the Russell 1000 index. 

Don’t confuse Freshpet food for raw food. The food undergoes a steam-cooking process that allegedly locks in vital nutrients. The food has no additives and must be refrigerated, or it can spoil.

Although the food is cooked, Freshpet has confirmed that the meals are not human-grade food and are not produced in a properly licensed and regulated human food facility. Freshpet offers brands like its home brand Freshpet, Dog Joy, Dognation, Vital, and Nature’s Fresh. 

5. Proshares Pet Care ETF (BATS: PAWZ)

Are you having a hard time choosing which pet stocks to buy? Why not own them all in the Proshares Pet Care ETF? This fund trades on the BATS exchange in the United States and first started trading in 2018.

It has total assets under management (AUM) of about $68 million and has a management expense ratio (MER) of 0.50%. This means that for every $10,000 you have invested in PAWZ, you will pay $50 in management fees each year. 

The Proshares Pet Care ETF holds 25 different pet stocks in its portfolio. The largest weighted holdings are Freshpet (10.46%), Chewy (10.13%), and Idexx Laboratories (9.73%). It also exposes internationally-listed pet stocks, including Pets at Home Group PLC and Virbac SA. 

Final Thoughts: PetSmart Stock

As you might have noticed from the other pet stocks, it hasn’t been the most profitable industry to invest in. The performance of the individual stocks hasn’t been very encouraging. As a sector, we can look at the Proshares Pet Care ETF and see that PAWZ has returned about 30.0% over the past five years. 

For millions of families worldwide, pets are as much a part of our family as any human. Companies that provide pet food, veterinary services, and even pet insurance have a large total addressable market to serve. Pet stores like Petsmart and Petco are also the primary destination for pet owners who need supplies in a pinch.

Unfortunately, Petsmart is no longer a public company; you can’t trade PetSmart stock. However, as you can see from this article, plenty of other ways to invest in the pet care industry exist. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no PetSmart stock in any country. The company went private after trading on the NASDAQ exchange from 1993 to 2015. Although it’s a great company for pet supplies, you can’t invest in Petsmart through the stock market. 

Petsmart was taken private by a European private equity group called BC Partners. This firm purchased Petsmart in 2015 for $8.7 billion. BC Partners also owns shares of Chewy and a long list of other businesses based in Europe. 

At one point, Petsmart did own Chewy when it acquired the online platform in May 2017. The 20% ownership stake Petsmart held in Chewy was transferred to BC Partners in June 2018 before Chewy went public via its IPO in June 2019. 

As of 2024, more than 1,660 Petsmart stores are open in the United States and Canada. Only about 140 of these locations are in Canada, where the company has operated since 1996. 

Yes, the Proshares Pet Care ETF holds 25 pet care companies from the United States and worldwide. The fund trades under the ticker symbol PAWZ and has returned about 30% over the past five years. 

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