Following the publication for the first time of our industry stock market capitalization at the start of the year, we are providing here a quarterly update for the evolution of the stock price of 19 stock listed companies operating in our core market, showing its evolution between Jan. 1 and March 31.
On average, the eyewear companies in our chart saw their stock price increase by 10.1 percent in the last three months, outperforming the main stock indices that grew by between 6.5 percent over the same period.
Looking at the stock performance of the main eyewear and optical industry players, EssilorLuxottica saw its share price increase by 7.8 percent in the quarter. Investors have probably welcomed the recovery of the group’s results in Q4 of the last financial year, as well as the resume of its external growth with the acquistion of Walman in the U.S. Perhaps more surprisingly, the European Union’s approval of GrandVision’s takeover only had a limited impact on the Franco-Italian group share price, which grew by only 3.6 percent since the announcement, possibly because of the current legal dispute between the two groups.
The share price of Hoya, the main competitor of EssilorLuxottica in the lenses segment, declined by 8.9 percent in the quarter in spite of a Q3 sales’ rebound and record profits announced at the end of January. However, this quarterly decrease comes after the Japanese group’s share price had reached a 5-year record level at the end of 2020. On a smaller scale, the Thai Optical Group share price jumped by 29.3 percent following the publication of its last quarterly results, which showed a sales decline but an improved product mix, and the announcement of the transfer of its Poly Sun subsidiary inside the company.
Safilo, the main eyewear frames’ manufacturer in the list, recorded a 14.2 percent hike in its share price since the start of the year, after having hit a five-year low price of €0.51 per share in November 2020. The Italian group announced in the quarter a rebound in sales during the second half of 2020, with a quickly rising share of its DTC online business in its overall revenues.
The two biggest retail players in our chart, GrandVision and Fielmann, registered similarly slight increases of 2.4 percent and 2.9 percent in the quarter, respectively. This seems to confirm that, contrary to other sectors where retailers have been much more severely hit by the Covid-19 crisis, the eyewear retail sector proves to be more resilient as brick-and-mortar stores stay open and still remain by far the first purchasing option for consumers. Both groups have also announced significant progress in the digitization of their business.
Still on the retail side, the Canadian-based New Look Vision Group saw its share price jump by 37.7 percent following two consecutive quarters of very strong sales’ recovery and, more decisively, the announcement a couple of weeks ago of its takeover by investors linked to the U.S. Eyemart Express. The Japanese retail chain Jins was also an investors’ pick during the last quarter where its share price rose by 16.1 percent.
The biggest growth in share price was registered by the Canadian healthcare company Bausch Health, with a 52.6 percent jump in the quarter, returning to the price level registered at the end of 2019. The group released Q4 results for 2020 that showed a net loss of $153 million, however a significant improvement compared to the net loss of $1,516 million a year earlier. It also repaid $900 million in debt during the course of last year. The company is also on track to spin-off its Bausch+Lomb business in the coming months.