NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of GNC (GNC) - Get Report were sliding 9.39% to $13.71 on heavy trading volume mid-Friday morning after the company reported lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for the 2016 third quarter yesterday.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch reduced its rating on the shares to "underweight" from "neutral" and lowered its price target to $13 from $23 this morning.

The firm said it is less likely the company will be able to find a buyer now, the Fly notes.

The vitamin retailer's efforts to put itself back on the right track won't be successful, the firm added, noting that analysts' expectations for GNC are too high.

Piper Jaffray also downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "neutral" today and cut its price target to $11 from $20, according to the Fly.

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Following Pittsburgh-based GNC's third quarter report, Piper said that increased leverage and a new company strategy have confused GNC's story.

More than 2.61 million GNC shares have traded so far today vs. the 30-day average of 2.36 million shares.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GNC

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