Bausch & Lomb's
The eye-care-products giant indicated that third-quarter sales rose 7% year over year to $588.7 million. Earnings, on the other hand, took a big plunge. Earnings in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were $17.9 million, which works out to be $0.32 per share on a diluted basis, compared with $43.3 million, or EPS of $0.79, last year. The biggest dampener on the bottom line was a $19.6 million ($0.35 per share) charge that Bausch & Lomb will take related to the improper accounting procedures by a Brazilian subsidiary.
Results were also affected by charges associated with repatriating $805 million in offshore profits. Excluding that charge as well as other items, the company would have earned $57.1 million, or $1.02 per share, in the quarter.
Bausch & Lomb's top-line uptick resulted from especially strong performance in the contact lens and pharmaceuticals segments, which saw revenues increase 10% and 12% net of currency impacts, respectively. All three of the company's geographic regions experienced solid gains, although Asia experienced the most robust growth at 8% (also net of currency impacts). Revenue expansion in that region should accelerate in the coming year, since the company recently completed its purchase of Shanghai-based ophthalmic pharmaceutical firm Shandong Chia Tai Freda Pharmaceutical Group.
As for profitability, Bausch & Lomb is also looking good. Gross margin in the quarter hit 60%, compared with 57.8% in the same period last year. Adding back $25.8 million in charges to cover the Brazil issue (charges were $17.2 million on an after-tax basis; a 33% tax rate yields $25.8 million) and the sale of a contact lens business, operating margin likewise improved, with a 2.6% increase against the same quarter last year.
Bausch & Lomb has plenty of competition from the likes of Alcon
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Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.