National Vision Enters the Market With a Bang

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National Vision Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) entered the market with a bang Thursday morning. The company priced its 15.8 million shares at $22 per share, above the range of $18 to $20 per share. At this price, including the overallotment option for an additional 2.37 million shares, the entire offering is valued up to $363.4 million. But note that shares actually entered the market well above the price at $28.75, shattering expectations.

The underwriters for the offering are Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, KKR, Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Guggenheim Securities, Mizuho Securities and Macquarie Capital.

This company is one of the largest and fastest growing optical retailers in the United States and a leader in the attractive value segment of the U.S. optical retail industry. Management believes that vision is central to quality of life and that people deserve to see their best to live their best, no matter what their budget.

National Vision’s mission is to make quality eye care and eyewear affordable and accessible to all Americans. The company achieves this by providing eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses to cost-conscious and low-income consumers. In the filing, the firm described:

We deliver exceptional value and convenience to our customers, with an opening price point that strives to be among the lowest in the industry, enabled by our low-cost operating platform. We believe our focus on the value segment, breadth of product assortment, committed employees and consultative selling approach generate customer goodwill for our brands. Our long-serving and motivated management team of optical retail experts has delivered a highly-consistent track record of strong results.

For fiscal years 2012 and 2013, full year 2014, fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2016, National Vision generated total net revenue of $717 million, $840 million, $933 million, $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, representing a compound annual growth rate of roughly 14% from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2016. Its net income for these same periods was $0.7 million, $14 million, −$24 million, $4 million and $15 million, respectively.

The company intends to use the net proceeds to repay its debt, with the remainder going toward working capital and general corporate purposes.

Shares were last seen up about 28% at $28.15, with a range of $27.66 to $29.10 on the day thus far. Also about 3 million shares had moved on the day after 11 a.m. Eastern.