If you're an investor whose psyche leans more toward the "twitchy" side of the emotional continuum, LCA-Vision
Of course, good managers should concern themselves with the business at hand -- in this case, laser-vision correction services -- and leave the market to its own devices. And to that end, this was another solid quarter. Revenues grew another 46%, with 35% same-center growth and a 42% overall jump in procedures. Margins did compress a bit, but a large chunk of that seems to be because stock option expense was included.
There was one other culprit in operating margins that also feeds into an interesting point on LCA-Vision's balance sheet. You might notice that the increase from the fourth quarter in doubtful accounts was paltry compared with revenue growth. That's because, according to management at least, it's doing more third-party financing. And while that transfers the risk of default to a third party (General Electric
This is a company that I want to be skeptical about, but it seems to be doing the right things. It's building its new centers itself (instead of making dilutive acquisitions like PainCare
Cash flow modeling suggests that this is a pretty expensive stock. By the same token, you don't find a lot of 30%-plus growers that are cash flow positive, pay a dividend, and have a huge, fragmented market left to exploit. So while I'm not putting my own money to work here, I'm always willing to revisit that decision when another of the seemingly inevitable swoons hits this stock.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).