Contact Lens Survey Could Boost COO Shares; Next Catalyst is Analyst Day On Sept. 13

Shares of The Cooper Companies (NYSE:COO) continue to rise as investors and analysts are regaining confidence in the stability and growth of COO’s leading contact lens business. A new survey conducted by brokerage firm Raymond James is being circulated Thursday morning highlighting that the U.S. contact lens market remains stable, addressing an issue that hurt COO shares in the first half of this year (see PropThink’s prior story). The survey includes the opinions of 38 U.S. optometrists to assess market trends, in which 71% of respondents indicated a higher number of total contact lens fittings in May through July 2012, vs.  just 3% indicating fewer fits in the period. This compares to the December 2011 through February 2012 period, in which Raymond James saw just 42% of respondents noting a higher number of total fits. The brokerage firm says that this new survey supports its mid-single-digit growth forecast for the U.S. contact lens business, with positive trends seen for Cooper’s newer and higher margin products gaining traction in the market. Next catalyst is COO’s Analyst Meeting on September 13th, which should be a positive event for the stock. COO remains cheap relative to its historical valuation, with a mean analyst price target of $92. Raymond James carries a $100 price target on COO.