Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) to Hold

Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Vera Bradley Designs, Inc. is a designer, producer, marketer and retailer of accessories for women. Its products include handbags, accessories and travel and leisure items. It sells its products through two reportable segments Indirect and Direct. Its indirect business consists of sale of Vera Bradley products to independent retailers in the U.S. as well as select national retailers and third party e-commerce sites. Its direct business consists of sales of Vera Bradley products through its full-price stores, its outlet stores, verabradley.com, and its annual outlet sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Vera Bradley Designs, Inc. is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on VRA. Telsey Advisory Group reduced their price objective on Vera Bradley from $13.00 to $10.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 5th. ValuEngine upgraded Vera Bradley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 11th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Vera Bradley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 3rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.00.

Shares of NASDAQ:VRA traded down $0.32 during trading on Friday, hitting $11.42. The stock had a trading volume of 14,604 shares, compared to its average volume of 329,498. Vera Bradley has a 12-month low of $7.94 and a 12-month high of $14.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $406.16 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.32 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 2.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $10.44 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $10.98.

Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, September 4th. The textile maker reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.27 by ($0.02). Vera Bradley had a return on equity of 6.55% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm had revenue of $119.79 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $117.35 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.26 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Vera Bradley will post 0.89 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Robert Wallstrom purchased 5,434 shares of Vera Bradley stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 6th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $9.19 per share, for a total transaction of $49,938.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 270,306 shares in the company, valued at $2,484,112.14. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Joan B. Hall sold 57,781 shares of Vera Bradley stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.82, for a total value of $625,190.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 88,969 shares of company stock valued at $964,996. 27.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VRA. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Vera Bradley by 15.5% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 723,580 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $8,682,000 after acquiring an additional 96,866 shares during the last quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC lifted its position in Vera Bradley by 58.8% during the 2nd quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 509,151 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $6,110,000 after acquiring an additional 188,477 shares during the last quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. lifted its position in Vera Bradley by 64.6% during the 3rd quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. now owns 472,623 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $4,773,000 after acquiring an additional 185,437 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Vera Bradley by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 309,945 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $3,719,000 after acquiring an additional 5,159 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in Vera Bradley by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 288,835 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $3,466,000 after acquiring an additional 7,964 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.32% of the company’s stock.

About Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and sells women's handbags, luggage and travel items, fashion and home accessories, and gifts. It operates through two segments, Direct and Indirect. The company offers totes, crossbodies, satchels, clutches, backpacks, baby bags, and lunch bags; accessories, including wallets, wristlets, eyeglass cases, scarves, and various technology accessories; and travel products, such as rolling luggage, cosmetics, and travel and packing accessories, as well as travel bags comprising duffel and weekend bags.

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