NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Cooper Cos. rose Friday after the eye-care product company reported strong first-quarter results and raised its annual profit forecast.
THE SPARK: The Pleasanton, Calif., company reported its quarterly results Thursday afternoon. Its profit and revenue both came out ahead of Wall Street expectations, as the company saved money after closing a manufacturing plant and said revenue at both its businesses improved. Revenue from the CooperVision unit rose 10 percent and revenue from the CooperSurgical business grew 15 percent to $57.2 million.
THE BIG PICTURE: Cooper is now forecasting a profit of $4.90 to $5.15 per share for the full year, up from its previous estimate of $4.80 to $5 per share. It maintained its estimate of $1.39 billion to $1.44 billion in revenue.
Analysts on average forecast profit of $4.96 per share and $1.42 billion in revenue.
THE ANALYSIS: Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Jeff Johnson said he thinks the company's outlook is still conservative. He said revenue from CooperVision could surpass the company's guidance because of revenue from new products and a recovery in the contact-lens market. The company is forecasting $1.17 billion to $1.21 billion in revenue for CooperVision in fiscal 2012, up 4 to 8 percent from the previous year.
Johnson rates the shares "Outperform" with a price target of $92 per share. He said the stock could rise to $100 in the next 12 to 18 months.
SHARE ACTION: Cooper stock picked up $3.85, or 4.9 percent, to $82.78 in afternoon trading. The stock is trading at its highest prices since September, when it peaked at $84.20. The shares have climbed 39 percent since Nov. 15, when Cooper expanded a contact lens recall and its shares plunged.