Investors braced for a bumpy ride ahead of LCA-Vision's (Nasdaq: LCAV) earnings announcement as the company has wavered between beating and falling short of analyst predictions during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, July 26. LCA-Vision is the provider of fixed-site laser vision correction services at its Lasik Plus vision centers.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts don't like LCA-Vision as much as competitor Hanger Orthopedic Group overall. Six out of seven analysts rate Hanger Orthopedic Group a buy, compared with one of two for LCA-Vision. LCA-Vision's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $24.9 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 5.2% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is a loss of $0.11 per share. Estimates range from a loss of $0.13 to a loss of $0.09.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock, with 96.6% granting it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 91.5% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are keen on LCA-Vision and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 219 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of LCA-Vision, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Gross Margin 41.1% 27.3% 18.7% 28.2%
Operating Margin 6.1% (38.3%) (42%) (20.5%)
Net Margin 6.3% (37.8%) (41.7%) (16.3%)
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