What happened

Shares of STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ:STAA) surged Thursday following a first-quarter report that handily beat analyst expectations. The manufacturer of implantable lenses and companion delivery systems managed to grow revenue by 33%, leading investors to drive the stock about 28% higher by 12:20 p.m. EDT.

So what

STAAR reported first-quarter revenue of $27.1 million, up 33% year over year and about $4 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Sales of Implantable Collamer Lens, or ICL, products surged 39%, with units up 41% from the prior-year period.

A rising chart on a screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

Non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.04, up from a loss of $0.04 in the prior-year period and $0.08 higher than analysts were expecting. Higher revenue and a 10-basis point improvement in gross margin more than offset an increase in operating expenses.

"The record sales STAAR generated in the first quarter represents a meaningful acceleration from the emerging growth we saw in the second half of last year and illustrates our team's initial progress toward achieving the strong growth priorities of the recently announced 2018-2020 strategic plan," said STAAR President and CEO Caren Mason.

Now what

Because of STAAR's strong first-quarter sales, the company boosted its fiscal year 2018 sales target. The company now expects to grow full-year sales by around 20% from 2017, up from a previous outlook calling for low double-digit growth.

An across-the-board beat and a boost to guidance gave investors plenty of reasons to push up the stock Thursday.