Los Angeles Business Journal

Staar Surgical Misses Wall Street Profit Estimates

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shares of Staar Surgical Co. fell 4 percent on Wednesday after the maker of implantable contact lenses reported a fourth quarter profit that was less than what analysts expected.

The Monrovia maker of ophthalmic products late Tuesday reported net income of $109,000 (0 cents a share), compared with a net loss of $691,000 (-2 cents) in the same period a year earlier. It’s the company’s fourth consecutive quarter of profitability.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $16.4 million, driven by 37 percent growth in sales of its Visian ICL lens, which were approved during the quarter for sale in Japan. The lenses are used to correct patients with myopia, or extreme near sightedness. The gross margin improved from 64.7 percent to 69.8 percent.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected the company to report earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $16.7 million.

“The fourth quarter was a solid finish to a very good year,” said Chief Executive Barry Caldwell in a statement. “With the on-going launch of our recently approved (Visian) products, we are gaining traction in the top global refractive markets. Ophthalmologists and patients alike are increasingly viewing the Visian ICL as a true competitor to (laser surgery) with significant advantages.”

Staar expects a 15 percent increase in revenue for the full year, slightly lower than the analyst consensus of 16 percent growth.

Shares closed down 43 cents, or 4 percent, to $10.22 on the Nasdaq.