Bausch & Lomb's Blurry Sales Picture

The company is chasing new growth markets, but investors are losing patience

Dr. Michael Shapiro, an ophthalmic surgeon in Madison, Wis., couldn't wait to get his hands on Bausch & Lomb Inc.'s hot new laser. The company got U.S. approval in February for its Technolas 217 laser, a device well known overseas. It uses a scalpel-like light beam that works on a bigger portion of the cornea, leaving it smoother than older machines. That cuts the chances of winding up with blurry night vision--a common post-surgery complaint. The excitement has even reached patients, who call asking: "Are you the one with the flying spot laser?"

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