National Vision (NASDAQ:EYE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “National Vision exceeded the first quarter on a strong note with better-than-expected earnings and revenues. The company has been witnessing positive comps on increased customer transaction for past 69 quarters. However, we are disappointed with the company expecting to report softer comps in the second quarter as compared to the previous projections. According to National Vision, the timing of tax refunds and the size will impede growth. On a positive note, National Vision’s plans to continue to focus on core growth drivers in 2019 buoy optimism. In this regard, the company aims at increasing its store count following a formula-based approach. However, the company’s high dependence on limited number of vendors is a concern. Also, a tough competitive landscape is a threat. Moreover, rising costs can exert pressure on the bottom line. Overall, National Vision has been underperforming its industry in the past three months.”

A number of other brokerages have also commented on EYE. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of National Vision in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. ValuEngine lowered National Vision from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $45.25.

Shares of EYE stock traded up $0.42 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $27.62. 15,535 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 923,055. National Vision has a fifty-two week low of $25.60 and a fifty-two week high of $46.63. The firm has a market cap of $2.07 billion, a PE ratio of 61.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17.

National Vision (NASDAQ:EYE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.02. National Vision had a return on equity of 6.29% and a net margin of 1.12%. The company had revenue of $461.22 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $455.42 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.35 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that National Vision will post 0.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO L Reade Fahs sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.60, for a total value of $266,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders sold 80,000 shares of company stock valued at $2,417,100 over the last 90 days. 2.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in National Vision by 48.2% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 151,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,858,000 after buying an additional 49,389 shares during the period. Pearl River Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of National Vision by 93.6% in the first quarter. Pearl River Capital LLC now owns 4,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 2,224 shares in the last quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of National Vision by 109.6% in the fourth quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 976,689 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,513,000 after purchasing an additional 510,689 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of National Vision by 172.2% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 878,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,647,000 after purchasing an additional 555,612 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AMI Asset Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of National Vision in the fourth quarter valued at $8,558,000.

National Vision Company Profile

National Vision Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an optical retailer primarily in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Owned & Host and Legacy. It offers eyeglasses and contact lenses, and optical accessory products, as well as eye exams through its America's Best, Eyeglass World, Vista Optical, and Vista Optical Military, as well as Vision Center brand stores; and provides health maintenance organization, vision care benefit plan, and optometric services.

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