Will This Downgrade Hurt GNC Holdings (GNC) Today? (Update)

Update (9:35 a.m.): Updated with Monday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Credit Suisse downgraded GNC Holdings  (GNC) to "neutral" from "outperform" and set a $51 target price. The firm noted the company has lower sales visibility.

The stock was falling 1.65% to $45.78 at 9:31 a.m. on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GNC HOLDINGS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GNC HOLDINGS INC (GNC) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, GNC HOLDINGS INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • GNC HOLDINGS INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GNC HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.72 versus $2.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.23 versus $2.72).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Specialty Retail industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 0.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $47.44 million to $47.66 million.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GNC Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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