Contact lens maker Cooper Companies Inc. (COO) said Thursday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter profit rose 27% from last year, helped by higher sales and improved margins.
However, the company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, came in below analysts' expectations as did its quarterly sales. At the same time, the company gave a roughly in-line guidance for the fiscal year 2013.
Robert Weiss, Cooper's president and chief executive officer said, "We continued to gain market share, post solid margins and maintain a strong balance sheet. As we enter fiscal 2013, we remain encouraged by our business trends and believe we are well positioned to deliver strong operating results."
Cooper Companies shares are currently losing 0.64% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $93.85, up 28 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $58.02 to $100.92.
For the fourth quarter ended October 31, 2012, the Pleasanton, California-based company reported net income of $71.9 million or $1.46 per share, compared to $56.6 million or $1.15 per share for the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted net income for the latest was $72.4 million or $1.47 per share.
On average, 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.55 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Gross margin for the quarter improved to 64% from 62% a year earlier, mainly due to increased manufacturing efficiencies and favorable product mix, while operating margin increased to 20% from 18% last year.
Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 10% to $396.30 million from $360.91 million in the same quarter last year. Eight analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $397.44 million for the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter revenue for the CooperVision unit, which makes contact lenses, grew 5% to $318.1 million, while it surged 37% to $78.2 million for the CooperSurgical unit, which makes products for the woman's healthcare market.
Cooper Companies mainly competes with Alcon and Bausch & Lomb Inc. in the contact lens market.
On December 5, the company's Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $150.0 million of common stock under the existing share repurchase program. With the approval the company is now authorized to purchase up to $300.0 million of its common stock. The program has $228.9 million of remaining availability and no expiration date.
Looking forward to the fiscal year 2013, the company forecasts revenue of $1.565 billion to $1.625 billion and earnings of $5.70 to $6.00 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $5.84 per share on revenue of $1.60 billion for the fiscal year 2012.
by RTT Staff Writer
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