Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National Vision (NASDAQ:EYE) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $32.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “National Vision exited fourth-quarter 2018 on a mixed note. The company has been witnessing positive comps on increased customer transaction for the past 68 sequential quarters. 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. The company is also steadily progressing with its omni-channel efforts to enhance customer experience and operating efficiency. Moreover, National Vision’s extended contact lens distribution association with Walmart is contributing to the top line. 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.”

Separately, ValuEngine downgraded National Vision from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $46.00.

NASDAQ EYE opened at $27.00 on Tuesday. National Vision has a one year low of $25.60 and a one year high of $46.63. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 60.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.67 and a beta of 1.83. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

National Vision (NASDAQ:EYE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 27th. The company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of ($0.06). National Vision had a return on equity of 6.75% and a net margin of 1.66%. The company had revenue of $355.92 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $350.14 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.39 EPS. National Vision’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that National Vision will post 0.56 EPS for the current year.

In other National Vision news, CEO L Reade Fahs sold 35,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.33, for a total transaction of $1,096,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 105,000 shares of company stock valued at $3,258,500. Corporate insiders own 2.82% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of National Vision by 48.2% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 151,925 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,858,000 after purchasing an additional 49,389 shares during the period. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. grew its stake in shares of National Vision by 109.6% during the 4th 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 during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of National Vision by 172.2% during the 3rd 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 during the period. AMI Asset Management Corp bought a new position in shares of National Vision during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $8,558,000. Finally, CWM LLC bought a new position in shares of National Vision during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $2,435,000.

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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