Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Aerie received a significant boost with the recent approval of lead drug Rhopressa.The approval came ahead of the PDUFA date in Feb. The approval will significantly boost Aerie's prospects 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. However, Rhopressa faces stiff competition from established branded and generic pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis’ Simbrinza and Travtan, and Allergan’s Lumigan, as well as other smaller biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Valeant Pharmaceutical’s Vyzulta was recently approved for open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Rhopressa will face a tough time in gaining market share due to competition from these products. Aerie’s shares have outperformed the industry in the last one year.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on AERI. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $76.00 price objective (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a report on Monday, October 16th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Mizuho reiterated a buy rating and set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a positive rating and set a $73.00 price objective (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $72.00.

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) traded up $0.65 on Monday, reaching $59.95. 421,200 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 302,400. The company has a quick ratio of 15.24, a current ratio of 15.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. The company has a market capitalization of $2,220.00, a PE ratio of -17.90 and a beta of 1.11. Aerie Pharmaceuticals has a twelve month low of $38.14 and a twelve month high of $66.60.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported ($0.89) EPS for the quarter. research analysts forecast that Aerie Pharmaceuticals will post -3.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 11.5% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 275 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 7.4% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 7,534 shares of the company’s stock worth $396,000 after acquiring an additional 519 shares during the last quarter. Bamco Inc. NY raised its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 13.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bamco Inc. NY now owns 5,511 shares of the company’s stock worth $290,000 after acquiring an additional 653 shares during the last quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC now owns 25,591 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,243,000 after acquiring an additional 791 shares during the last quarter. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 23,501 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,235,000 after acquiring an additional 1,235 shares during the last quarter.

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About Aerie Pharmaceuticals

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye. The Company’s product candidates include Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% (Rhopressa), and Roclatan (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% (Roclatan).

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