National Vision Holdings, Inc. (EYE) Misrepresented its Financial and Operational Prospects
A shareholder filed a class action on behalf of all purchasers of National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) common stock between May 13, 2021, and May 9, 2022, for violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. National Vision is an optical retailer that provides eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.
According to the complaint, during the class period, defendants highlighted favorable financial and operating trends, repeatedly raising the Company’s guidance. Further, defendants claimed that National Vision was skillfully navigating the pandemic and had largely avoided the labor disruptions that were then impacting other retailers, claiming that the Company was outperforming the industry in terms of recruitment and retention and implementing ordinary compensation increases.
Unbeknownst to investors, these assurances were materially false and misleading. National Vision was struggling to retain and recruit critical healthcare staff sufficient to keep up with surging customer demand. In mid-2021, National Vision implemented a significant wage investment for both associates and optometrists that would materially impair the Company’s earnings. However, the Company concealed the scope of the investment and structured it so that the enhanced payouts would largely hit the Company’s bottom line in the fourth quarter of 2021. National Vision’s efforts ultimately failed to adequately address the Company’s retention and recruitment crisis, causing the Company to suffer a pronounced optometrist shortage by the first quarter of 2022, materially negatively impacting the Company’s financial and operational results and prospects. Because the Company failed to disclose these adverse facts, the price of its stock traded at artificially inflated prices.
On May 10, 2022, National Vision issued deeply disappointing financial and operational results for its first fiscal quarter of 2022. The release stated that during the quarter, on a year-over-year basis, the Company’s net revenues had decreased 1.2% to $527.7 million, its adjusted CSS had fallen 6.8%, net income had decreased 30.6% to $30.1 million, and its diluted EPS had decreased 28.2% to $0.34. The release also slashed the Company’s 2022 outlook, lowering adjusted CSS to a range of negative 7% to negative 4%, net revenue to a range of $2.01 billion to $2.07 billion, adjusted operating income to a range of $85 million to $105 million, and adjusted diluted EPS to a range of $0.65 to $0.80. Notably, the revised projections indicated that the Company was actually performing worse in terms of profits and earnings than before the pandemic. On this news, the price of National Vision common stock dropped almost 26%, from $33.57 per share on May 9, 2022 to $24.93 per share on May 10, 2022.
What Now: Similarly situated shareholders may be eligible to participate in the class action against National Vision. Shareholders who want to act as lead plaintiff for the class must file their papers by March 28, 2023. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. You do not have to participate in the case to be eligible for a recovery.
All representation is on a contingency fee basis. Shareholders pay no fees or expenses.