GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:GNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, GNC Holdings has been trading below the broader Retail-Drug Store industry. The company has declined 67.3%, as compared to 15.8% decline in the broader industry over this period. Weak margin scenario and significant decline in revenue on year-over-year basis raises concern. Tough competition, changing consumer preferences along with FTC regulations continue to pose challenges. In this regard, we note that during the last reported quarter result, market was disappointed with the company’s year-over-year operating result with declining revenues and earnings performance on lower sales in the U.S. & Canada and manufacturing/ wholesale segments. On a positive note, management expects to deliver positive performance banking on its One New GNC plan for operational improvement. Also, the company’s consistent growth in international business and strong cash position are encouraging.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on GNC. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of GNC Holdings in a research note on Wednesday, March 22nd. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on GNC Holdings from $5.00 to $7.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 price objective on shares of GNC Holdings in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Vetr downgraded GNC Holdings from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $10.12 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Odeon Capital Group LLC reissued a “sell” rating on shares of GNC Holdings in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $12.97.

GNC Holdings (GNC) traded up 2.94% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $9.11. 1,533,563 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $7.87 and its 200 day moving average price is $8.07. GNC Holdings has a one year low of $6.51 and a one year high of $27.93. The company’s market capitalization is $623.10 million.

GNC Holdings (NYSE:GNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 18th. The specialty retailer reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $644.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $623.03 million. GNC Holdings had a negative net margin of 12.45% and a positive return on equity of 95.43%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.69 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that GNC Holdings will post $1.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other GNC Holdings news, Director Alan D. Feldman purchased 36,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $6.87 per share, with a total value of $250,068.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 47,337 shares in the company, valued at $325,205.19. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Tim Mantel purchased 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $7.21 per share, for a total transaction of $108,150.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the executive vice president now owns 56,775 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $409,347.75. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders purchased 354,400 shares of company stock worth $2,388,048. 0.78% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capital Investment Counsel Inc raised its position in shares of GNC Holdings by 2.7% in the first quarter. Capital Investment Counsel Inc now owns 33,675 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $248,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in GNC Holdings by 0.8% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 153,115 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,127,000 after buying an additional 1,153 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its stake in GNC Holdings by 3.3% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 42,261 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $311,000 after buying an additional 1,362 shares in the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al increased its stake in GNC Holdings by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al now owns 20,800 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $230,000 after buying an additional 2,010 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its stake in GNC Holdings by 0.5% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 629,400 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $4,632,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares in the last quarter. 82.88% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

GNC Holdings Company Profile

GNC Holdings, Inc is a specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products, which include protein, performance supplements, weight management supplements, vitamins, herbs and greens, wellness supplements, health and beauty, food and drink and other general merchandise. The Company’s operations consist of purchasing raw materials, formulating and manufacturing products and selling the finished products.

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