GNC (GNC) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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GNC (NYSE:GNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $4.50 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.66% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Oflate, GNC has been registering strong performance in e-commerce business and International segment. In fact, GNC Holdings is putting an all-out effort to strengthen its international presence. In this regard, the company’s plan is well on place to grow its presence in China and India and to enter the Australian market with strategies that will leverage alternative channels of distribution. However, GNC Holdings underperformed its industry in a year's time. The year-over-year fall in adjusted earnings and revenues in the last reported quarter is dampening. Further, the contraction in gross and operating margins were disappointing too. Further, cut-throat competition and changing consumer preferences continue to pose challenges for GNC Holdings. Also, the domestic retail comps were a bit softer than expected in the last reported quarter.”

Separately, Barclays restated a “sell” rating and issued a $3.00 price target on shares of GNC in a research report on Friday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $4.13.

NYSE GNC traded up $0.07 on Monday, hitting $4.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 28,830 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,971,569. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.30, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 1.52. GNC has a 1-year low of $2.71 and a 1-year high of $8.36. The stock has a market cap of $347.30 million, a P/E ratio of 2.99 and a beta of 0.54.

GNC (NYSE:GNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The specialty retailer reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.06. GNC had a negative net margin of 7.06% and a negative return on equity of 57.85%. The firm had revenue of $617.94 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $607.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.42 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that GNC will post 0.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Spark Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of GNC during the second quarter worth $381,000. Price Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of GNC during the second quarter worth $607,000. Gabelli Funds LLC increased its position in shares of GNC by 28.6% during the second quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 225,000 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $792,000 after buying an additional 50,000 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of GNC by 24.8% during the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 935,890 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $3,295,000 after buying an additional 186,073 shares during the period. Finally, Miller Value Partners LLC increased its position in shares of GNC by 31.5% during the second quarter. Miller Value Partners LLC now owns 92,285 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $325,000 after buying an additional 22,125 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.54% of the company’s stock.

GNC Company Profile

GNC Holdings, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of health, wellness, and performance products. It operates through three segments: U.S. and Canada, International, and Manufacturing/Wholesale. Its products include protein, performance supplements, weight management supplements, vitamins, herbs and greens, wellness supplements, health and beauty, food and drink, and other general merchandise.

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