The earnings report from vision-correction specialist Cooper
Cooper's bottom-line GAAP earnings fell 60%, to $0.18 a share. However, the results included a number of charges, some of which don't reflect on operating performance. These outlays included expenditures related to integrating acquisitions, restructuring, and covering litigation costs. The company would also like you to ignore share-based compensation. Sorry, but in my book, that counts as an expense.
In constant currency, revenue did rise 9% year over year for the quarter, to $251.9 million. However, the gross margin decreased 300 basis points, to 58%. Even using the company's measure and excluding costs that it considers unrelated, the gross margin was flat, at 63%. Likewise, the operating margin fell 500 basis points, to 9%, but excluding certain costs, it was also flat, at 22%. However, I don't think excluding marketing costs for new products and share-based compensation is appropriate. Last I checked, these too were legitimate business expenses.
Cooper lowered its guidance for the year significantly. GAAP earnings are now expected to be $0.50-$1.00 a share, down from management's previous guidance of $1.55-$1.90. Even using the company's earnings measure, the figure is now expected to be $2.60-$2.90 a share, versus its previous expectation of $2.90-$3.05.
Next year, earnings should become a little more normal. This should be the third and last year of integrating Ocular Sciences, and the company should also soon be done consolidating its two U.S. distribution facilities into one and its 18 European facilities into four. I wonder whether the company will have us ignore the charges when all of these events have passed.
Delaying the production of its silicone hydrogel product offering too late in the game is likely to have a negative impact. However, the company's longer-term prospects may not be all that bad. Cooper's single-wear lenses have increased in popularity, given the safety concerns that have arisen over multi-use lenses. Both Advanced Medical Optics
A few months ago, speculation swirled about a takeover, especially by a private-equity company. We've already seen that 1-800 Contacts
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Fool contributor Larry Rothman is happy to receive feedback, and he promises to read it when he's not being wrestled by his three children. Feel free to email him at email@example.com. He doesn't have any positions in the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy can see clearly now, the rain is gone.