Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report 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.”

AERI has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub downgraded Aerie Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday. ValuEngine downgraded Aerie Pharmaceuticals from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, October 6th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $86.00 price target on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Aerie Pharmaceuticals from $80.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $86.00 price target on shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, August 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aerie Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $82.09.

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals stock opened at $55.37 on Tuesday. Aerie Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $47.06 and a one year high of $74.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 10.07 and a current ratio of 10.27. The stock has a market cap of $2.78 billion, a P/E ratio of -16.43 and a beta of 0.78.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The company reported ($1.14) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.98) by ($0.16). The company had revenue of $2.42 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.16 million. Equities research analysts expect that Aerie Pharmaceuticals will post -4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Casey C. Kopczynski sold 11,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 138,187 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,368,604.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO Thomas A. Mitro sold 190,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.27, for a total value of $11,451,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 234,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,112,039.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 324,117 shares of company stock worth $19,617,956. 10.53% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals in the third quarter worth approximately $201,000. United Services Automobile Association raised its stake 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 purchasing an additional 854 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake 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 purchasing an additional 24,687 shares during the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC raised its stake 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 purchasing an additional 23,498 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake 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 purchasing an additional 32,820 shares during the last quarter. 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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