Jefferies Revises GNC Holdings (GNC) Estimates

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies has downwardly revised its estimates for GNC Holdings (GNC) on Friday, after the health and wellness retailer provided soft 2014 guidance. The analyst firm cites a weak retail backdrop and weather disruption as reason for the revision, though it kept the stock as a "buy" with a $57 price target.

In premarket trading, shares have tumbled 15.4% to $44.30.

Over fiscal 2014, GNC predicts earnings between $3.18 and $3.24 a share, below Thomson Reuters consensus of $3.46 a share.

Jefferies revised its earnings estimate for the March-ending first quarter to 76 cents a share from 92 cents a share. For the full year, the firm anticipates earnings of $3.20 a share from $3.52 a share.

"Disruptive weather, and customer stockpiling from the 4Q13 promos have started 1Q14 off with negative comps and now the company is facing 250 store closures from this week's East Coast ice/snow storm. Beyond 1Q14, GNC guided to its normal guidance pattern of mid-single digit comps. We expect the company to get back to healthy growth in 2Q as weather normalizes and pent up demand from hibernating consumers kicks in," analysts wrote in a note.

Must Read: GNC Holdings Reports Fourth Quarter

TheStreet Ratings team rates GNC HOLDINGS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GNC HOLDINGS INC (GNC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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