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Wachovia Keeps Market Perform on Visx

Wachovia keeps its market perform rating on Visx (EYE).

Analyst Theodore Huber says first-quarter earnings per share are above his 21 cents forecast and 20 cents consensus. He notes 20% volume growth, and a 34% custom mix was well ahead of his 11% and 32% estimates, respectively.

Huber raised the 70 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate to 80 cents. But he notes his higher growth estimates are largely offset by co-op marketing spending that he now is factoring into his model, driving a reduction in the $1.03 2005 earnings per share estimate to $1.01. He says with rival Alcon's astigmatism approval expected soon, and continued gains from Bausch & Lomb, he expects Visx's growth to decelerate in the coming quarters. Huber has a $24 to $26 valuation range.

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