Bausch & Lomb’s stock soars 9% after earnings beat

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Bausch & Lomb Corp.’s stock soared 10% early Wednesday after the eye-care company reported adjusted fourth-quarter profit that topped estimates and offered upbeat revenue guidance for 2024.

The Vaughan, Ont.-based company
had a net loss of $54 million, or 15 cents a share, for the quarter, after a loss of $1 million in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 24 cents, ahead of the 17-cent FactSet consensus.

Revenue rose to $1.173 billion from $996 million a year ago, also ahead of the $1.106 billion FactSet consensus.

Chief Executive Brent Saunders said revenue growth in 2023 exceeded the company’s expectations and has set the tone for 2024.

The company is now expecting 2024 revenue of $4.6 billion to $4.7 billion, while FactSet is expecting $4.55 billion.

On a call with analysts, Saunders said the company was expanding its research and development capabilities across the entire portfolio.

“We can and should explore all possibilities when it comes to building on the success of existing brands,” he said, according to a FactSet transcript.

“Second, we’re reloading our pipeline with a focus on areas of unmet need. Our reinvigorated business-development function will play a key role there as we cast a wide net for potential game-changers.”

See also: Bausch & Lomb to buy dry-eye treatment from Novartis in a $2.5 billion deal

The company is also eyeing strategic deals, such as adding smaller or mid- to late-stage R&D products, for all businesses, he said.

Revenue at the company’s vision-care segment rose 6% in the quarter to $662 million. Growth was driven by higher sales of Lumify eye drops, Eye Vitamins and Dry Eye Portfolio in the consumer eye-care business and higher sales of SiHy Daily lenses and Ultra within the contact-lens business. That was partially offset by unfilled orders due to a system upgrade at a Lynchburg distribution facility that affected the lens business.

Revenue in the surgical segment was up 9% to $204 million, while revenue in the pharmaceuticals segment was up 67% to $307 million.

Operating income fell to $49 million from $51 million a year ago, mostly due to higher selling, general and administrative costs resulting from product launches.

The stock has fallen 21% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500
has gained 24.5%.

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