Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Aerie’s lead drug, Rhopressa faces stiff competition from established branded and generic pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis’ Simbrinza and Travtan, and Allergan’s Lumigan and Vyzulta among others. Hence, Rhopressa will face a tough time in gaining market share due to competition from these products. Shares have underperformed the industry in the  year so far. Nevertheless, the solid uptake in prescription volumes post launch should propel sales as glaucoma is one of the largest segments in the global ophthalmic market. Aerie is also evaluating Roclatan, a once-daily, quadruple action fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa and Xalatan. Aerie recently submitted its NDA for Roclatan to the FDA and expects a review period of ten months. A tentative approval will boost the growth prospects.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on AERI. Needham & Company LLC set a $86.00 price objective on Aerie Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 13th. BidaskClub raised Aerie Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Saturday, June 23rd. ValuEngine raised Aerie Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 14th. HC Wainwright set a $78.00 price objective on Aerie Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $86.00 price objective on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a report on Friday, August 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aerie Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $82.09.

Shares of NASDAQ AERI opened at $55.37 on Tuesday. Aerie Pharmaceuticals has a 1-year low of $47.06 and a 1-year high of $74.75. The firm has a market cap of $2.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -16.43 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 10.27 and a quick ratio of 10.07.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The company reported ($1.14) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.98) by ($0.16). The business had revenue of $2.42 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.16 million. Analysts anticipate that Aerie Pharmaceuticals will post -4.51 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Casey C. Kopczynski sold 11,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.56, for a total value of $666,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 138,187 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,368,604.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Richard J. Rubino sold 66,605 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.23, for a total value of $4,011,619.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 334,236 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,131,034.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 324,117 shares of company stock valued at $19,617,956 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 10.53% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in the third quarter worth $201,000. United Services Automobile Association boosted its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 14.8% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 6,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $447,000 after acquiring an additional 854 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 5.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 458,235 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,954,000 after acquiring an additional 24,687 shares during the period. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 57.1% in the second quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC now owns 64,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,367,000 after acquiring an additional 23,498 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 5.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 630,612 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,597,000 after acquiring an additional 32,820 shares during the period. 95.99% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Aerie Pharmaceuticals

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases. Its lead product is Rhopressa, a once-daily eye drop to reduce elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

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