Wachovia Keeps Market Perform on Visx

Wachovia says results were strong for the maker of laser correction systems

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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