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Staar Surgical rises as analyst raises 2014 view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Staar Surgical Co. rose Tuesday after an analyst said he is becoming more certain that the company can meet its financial targets this year and raised his outlook for 2014.

THE SPARK: Benchmark analyst Raymond Myers lifted his price target on Staar shares by $1, to $7.50, citing recent strong sales growth for Staar's its Visian implantable contact lens

Visian lenses are used to treat nearsightedness and other vision problems as an alternative to Lasik eye surgery procedures.

THE BIG PICTURE: Staar's products include the Visian ICL as well as intraocular lenses, which are used to replace the eye's natural lenses after cataract surgery. The Monrovia, Calif., company said on April 8 that it expects first-quarter sales rose 16 percent to $18 million, while Visian sales grew 24 percent.

THE ANALYSIS: Myers believes Staar's implantable contact lens is gaining market share in the U.S. and internationally, while Lasik eye surgeries have slowed. He said he's gaining confidence the company can reach its goals for the year. Those include turning a profit each quarter, revenue growth of 8 to 10 percent, and more efficient manufacturing.

He lifted his per-share earnings forecast for 2014 to 25 cents per share from 22 cents per share. FactSet says analysts expect net income of 30 cents per share, on average.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Staar Surgical rose 30 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $6.11 in afternoon trading. Shares are nearly unchanged in 2013 and have dropped 44 percent over the past 12 months.

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