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Synchrony (SYF) Completes Pets Best Sale to IPH of Poodle

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Synchrony Financial (SYF - Free Report) recently announced that it has completed the divestment of its Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC to the pet insurance provider, Independence Pet Holdings, Inc. or IPH. Synchrony received part of the payment in the form of equity in IPH, an affiliate of Poodle Holdings, and agreed to establish a commercial partnership with IPH. Additionally, IPH will welcome two executives from Synchrony to its board of directors.

The divestment is expected to enable Synchrony to streamline its focus on its core business operations while still being part of the growing pet insurance industry. It will free up capital and help SYF comply with regulations regarding capital adequacy for banks with more than $100 billion worth of assets. The company ended 2023 with total assets of $117.5 billion, which rose from $104.6 billion at the end of 2022.

Moreover, the divestment enables both companies to leverage synergies between SYF’s CareCredit health and wellness credit card and IPH's pet insurance products. This collaboration positions Synchrony to benefit from IPH’s expanding footprint in the U.S. market. By leveraging their respective expertise and resources, IPH and Synchrony aim to offer more options and improved services to customers, develop new products and form strategic technology partnerships.

Synchrony acquired Pets Best in 2019, and the business experienced growth due to the surge in pet adoptions during the pandemic. Last November, the company announced the divestment agreement with a gain on sale, net of tax, of around $750 million. The company remains active in the M&A space to position itself for the long run.

Earlier this month, SYF completed the acquisition of Ally Financial Inc.’s (ALLY - Free Report) point-of-sale financing business – Ally Lending (it includes $2.2 billion of loan receivables as of Dec 31, 2023). Per the deal, nearly 2,500 merchant locations and assistance for more than 450,000 active borrowers in home improvement services and healthcare, previously managed by Ally Financial, will be transitioned to SYF.

Price Performance

Shares of Synchrony Financial have increased 19% in the past year compared with the industry’s 10.6% rise.

Zacks Investment Research
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Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Synchrony Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Finance space are Alerus Financial Corporation (ALRS - Free Report) and American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) , each currently having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1  Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The consensus mark for Alerus Financial’s 2024 full-year earnings is pegged at $1.53 per share, which remained stable over the past week. ALRS beat earnings estimates in three of the past four quarters and missed once, with an average surprise of 14.4%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for American Express’ 2024 full-year earnings is pegged at $12.82 per share, which indicates a 14.4% year-over-year increase. The consensus mark for AXP’s revenues in full-year 2024 is pegged at $66.2 billion, which predicts 9.4% growth.

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