Ahead of the Bell: Cooper Cos. shares rise

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2009 9:17 AM

Shares of Cooper Cos. rose in premarket trading Wednesday after the contact lens and eye care product maker posted strong fourth quarter results and gave a view of the new fiscal year.

After the market closed on Tuesday, Cooper reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that were about equal to Wall Street's estimates.

The company also projected an adjusted profit of $2.45 to $2.55 per share for the year, which was mostly above analyst estimates, with revenue of $1.1 billion to $1.16 billion.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expect profit of $2.45 per share and revenue of $1.13 billion

In premarket trading, Cooper shares advanced $1.77, or 5.2 percent, to $35.69.

"We believe higher-quality earnings growth in FY'10 will quiet one of last remaining bear arguments on this stock," analyst Jeff Johnson of Robert W. Baird & Co. said in a note to investors.

Johnson raised his price target on the stock to $42 from $39. He said Cooper's profit could be more than $3 per share in fiscal 2011 as the Pleasanton, Calif. company launches new products and the contact lens market recovers, and as Cooper benefits from closing a facility in Virginia. Analysts, on average, currently expect 2011 profit of $2.81 per share, according to Thomson.

Morgan Keegan analyst Lawrence Keusch said Cooper is gaining market share in contact lenses, and said its fourth-quarter profit, revenue, and margins were better than expected.

Both analysts kept "Outperform" ratings on the stock.