Baird Ups Ocular Sciences to 'Outperform'

Analyst Suey Wong says the downside now appears more limited for the maker of contact lenses

Baird upgraded Ocular Sciences (OCLR ) to outperform from neutral.

Analyst Suey Wong says the contact lenses maker's first-quarter results were encouraging. He upgraded because the downside risk appears much more limited than the upside potential for this compelling value idea. Wong says first-quarter earnings per share were above his 22 cents estimate and 24 cents consensus. He says the $71 million sales figure was ahead of his $66 million forecast, and powered again by strong international sales.

Wong raised the $275 million 2003 revenue forecast to $280 million, and upped the $1.40 earnings per share estimate to $1.45. He set estimates for $298 million in 2004 revenue and $1.65 earnings per share. Wong says Ocular is trading at 9.2 times his $1.65 2004 earnings per share, a big discount to peers. He set a $22 target.

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