While we're waiting for aesthetic laser maker Candela
As we know from the last conference call, Candela saw revenues jump to $149.5 million for the year, a 21% increase of the $123.9 million the company posted in 2005. And we find that sales in North America -- really just the U.S. -- remained about 46% of the total. Thus, of its total sales, the U.S. accounts for $68.8 million, also a 21% increase over last year.
But here's where it gets interesting, and disturbing.
If you draw out the previous quarterly numbers, what you find is that the fourth quarter was horrible. We knew that already from the press release and conference call -- revenues missed analyst estimates by a wide mark and profits were half of what they were the year before, all of which occurred in a quarter that is traditionally one of its strongest. What we're also able to divine, however, is that sales in the U.S. were virtually flat, about $19.9 million vs. $19.3 million last year.
The reason this is disturbing -- besides the obvious, of course -- is that in 2006, Candela had an exclusive partnership with medical device distributor McKesson
Candela has promised that come January, it will be selling its next-generation lasers, the 3630, so named because of the 36 configurations and 30 applications it will encompass in a single device. While that may be good for calendar year 2007, if you were a doctor in the market for an aesthetic laser, would you be buying last year's leftovers? Or would you wait for the new model with all the bells and whistles? For that reason, the remainder of the current calendar year will probably be a disaster.
Add in Candela's patent infringement legal volleys with Palomar Medical Technologies
Analysts are also seeing a gloomy picture. They've revised their current quarterly earnings estimate down by more than 70%, to just $0.05 a share, and have cut their full-year estimates nearly in half. That shouldn't be surprising for a company whose management team consistently overpromises and underdelivers -- the exact opposite of what Fools want to see management do.
Considering that the first quarter is historically one of Candela's weakest, investors don't have to worry about the bar being set too high. It's just that they shouldn't expect much from the second quarter, either.
Shine some light on Candela with these related articles:
What type of investor are you? Take a free trial to any of our newsletters to find out.