NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Bausch & Lomb Inc. warned Friday that it expects to fall short of Wall Street's already lowered profit targets for the recently completed fourth quarter of 2000 and for full-year 2001, and said it would cut about 350 more jobs as part of an ongoing restructuring.|
The Rochester, N.Y.-based eye care company blamed the lowered forecast on weakness in sales of laser equipment for surgery to correct vision problems, saying the number of refractive surgery procedures performed in the U.S. market has slowed. Bausch & Lomb said it is taking "a cautious stance" toward the opportunities for growth for such surgeries.
Separately, the company announced a settlement with leading laser vision surgery equipment maker Visx Inc. (EYE: Research, Estimates), which had accused Bausch & Lomb of patent infringement. Under the agreement, Bausch will pay royalty fees to Visx for each procedure performed in the United States using Bausch & Lomb's refractive laser.
Bausch & Lomb, struggling with management changes and weakening demand for its products, warned in October that fourth-quarter results would be lower than anticipated. Friday's announcement lowers those forecasts even further. The company also said in October that it would lay off 450 jobs. The latest announcement adds another 350 jobs to the list, bringing the total number of positions to be eliminated to 800, or roughly 6.1 percent of the company's work force.
The job cuts are expected to generate savings of about $20 million next year and $40 million annually after that. The company did not disclose where the job cuts would take place.
The company now says fourth-quarter profit, excluding one-time items, is expected to total about 70 cents a share, versus Wall Street forecasts of 73 cents a share, according to First Call, which tracks analysts' estimates. The company expects to post sales of about $460 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, a bit weaker than its previous forecasts.
For full-year 2001, Bausch expects to earn $2.35 to $2.40 a share excluding one-time items, well below the $2.59 per share Wall Street had been expecting.
Bausch & Lomb (BOL: Research, Estimates) stock slipped $1.88 to $37.13 at midday Friday. Shares of Visx rose 38 cents to $11.38.