Investors never know what to expect for LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV), as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Feb. 14. 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. Four out of four analysts rate Hanger Orthopedic Group a buy compared to zero of one for LCA-Vision. LCA-Vision's rating hasn't changed over the past three months.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $22.5 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 16.8% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is a loss of $0.10 per share.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are strongly backing the stock, with 95.3% awarding it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars, with 90.5% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools feel positively about 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.

Management:
Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Margins illustrate how efficiently a company captures portions of sales dollars. LCA-Vision has seen increasing operating margins year-over-year for the last four quarters. Operating margins reflect the total sales revenue that the company retains after costs. Here is how LCA-Vision has been doing for the last four quarters:

Quarter Q3 Q2 Q1 Q4
Gross Margin 28.2% 32.3% 41.1% 27.3%
Operating Margin (18.8%) (11.3%) 6.1% (38.3%)
Net Margin (17.4%) (11.3%) 6.3% (37.8%)

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