Why STAAR Surgical Company Shares Are Seeing Big Gains

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of STAAR Surgical (NASDAQ: STAA  ) , a developer of implantable lenses for the eye that treat astigmatism and myopia, surged as much as 27% after receiving a positive view from the Food and Drug Administration's panel on its Visian Toric implantable collamer lens, or Visian TICL.

So what: According to STAAR Surgical's press release, the FDA's Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee voted favorably on all three questions posed to it by the FDA's division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices. The questions primarily revolved around the safety of Visian TICL and its benefits relative to its risks. As STAAR Surgical's release also noted, the Visian TICL would allow surgeons to correct astigmatism and myopia during a single procedure. Following this favorable news, research firm Canaccord Genuity boosted its rating on STAAR Surgical to buy from hold with a price target of $20, implying 30% upside to Friday's closing price.

Now what: This is good news for STAAR Surgical, which has done an efficient job of expanding its product pipeline and indications in what looks to be a rapidly growing ophthalmic market over the coming decades given the retirement of baby boomers. It's perhaps a bit concerning from a shareholder's perspective that STAAR has missed Wall Street's EPS estimates in the past three quarters, but given its double-digit revenue growth potential, it's a company I'd suggest adding to your watchlist and keeping an eye on (no pun intended), especially if it has any significant dips.

STAAR Surgical shares may be soaring today, but it could have a difficult time keeping pace with this top stock in 2014
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