The Cooper Companies, Inc. (COO): Zacks Rank Buy

Zacks

Specialty medical products are still in strong demand. The Cooper Companies, Inc. (NYSE:COO - News) reported a record fiscal 2011 in December as revenue rose 15%. This Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) has attractive valuations, with a forward P/E of 14.4.

The Cooper Companies manufactures specialty healthcare products in two divisions: CooperVision and CooperSurgical.

CooperVision manufactures soft contact lenses and specializes in lenses for astigmatism, presbyopia and ocular dryness. The company produces monthly, 2-week and daily disposable contact lenses.

CooperSurgical manufactures medical devices, diagnostic products and surgical instruments mainly used by gynecologists and obstetricians.

Record Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Full Year 2011

On Dec 8, Cooper reported fiscal fourth quarter results and posted a record quarter to go along with a record full year. It blew by the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 25 cents. Earnings per share were $1.46 compared to the consensus of just $1.21. That was the 6th straight earnings surprise in a row.

Revenue in the quarter rose 15% to $360.9 million. Both CooperVision and CooperSurgical saw increases in the quarter of 15% and 14%, respectively.

Gross margin also improved to 62% from 60% a year ago due to an increase in the margin in CooperVision to 61% from 59%.

Fiscal 2012 Guidance

The company sees further earnings and revenue growth in fiscal 2012.

Revenue is expected to fall between $1.385 billion and $1.44 billion, up from 2011's revenue of $1.3 billion.

Earnings are forecast in the range of $4.80 to $5.00 per share.

Zacks Consensus Estimates Move Higher

Analysts are bullish on fiscal 2012 and even fiscal 2013.

The 2012 Zacks Consensus Estimate has risen a penny to $4.91 in the last 30 days as 2 out of 8 estimates has been revised higher.

This is further earnings growth of 9.1%.

The fiscal 2013 Zacks Consensus has also risen in prior month to $5.35 from $5.33. That is further earnings growth of 8.9%.

Still Has Value

Shares had been on a tear the last 2 years but sold off during the last summer's jitters.

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They've rebounded a bit but the stock still remains a value.

In addition to a forward P/E under 15, which is my cut-off for value, Cooper also has a price-to-book ratio of 1.8. A P/B under 3.0 usually indicates 'value.'

Cooper had a hot fiscal 2011. Can it keep the momentum in 2012? We'll find out in February, as the company is scheduled to report fiscal first quarter results on Feb 23.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor of the Turnaround Trader and Insider Trader services. You can follow her on twitter at traceyryniec.

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