LCA-Vision Revenues Dip in Third Quarter

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CINCINNATI— LCA-Vision (NASDAQ: LCAV) posted revenues of $20.0 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2012, compared with $21.8 million in the year ago period. Adjusted revenues for the third quarter were $19.5 million compared with $20.8 million year ago, the company reported.

LCA-Vision performed 11,510 laser vision procedures in the third quarter versus 12,444 procedures during the same period in 2011. Operating loss narrowed to $3.7 million from $4.1 million; adjusted operating loss narrowed to $4.2 million from $5.0 million. The improvement reflects a decrease in variable costs, lower general and administrative costs and a decrease in spending on marketing and advertising, offset partially by costs incurred in connection with the company's business expansion initiatives, according to LCA-Vision.

Marketing cost per eye was $417 in third quarter compared with $426 a year ago. Net loss was $3.5 million compared with a net loss of $3.8 million year ago, the company said.For the first nine months of 2012, LCA-Vision’s revenues increased 3.6 percent to $81.3 million; adjusted revenues increased 5.6 percent to $79.3 million.

Procedure volume increased 3.4 percent to 46,912 procedures. Operating loss was $3.3 million, a $1.6 million improvement from an operating loss of $4.9 million for the first nine months of 2011. Adjusted operating loss was $5.2 million, a $2.8 million improvement from an adjusted operating loss of $8.0 million.

The improvement reflects higher procedure revenue, lower variable costs, a decrease in general and administrative expenses and a decline in depreciation expense, offset partially by higher spending on marketing and advertising and costs incurred in connection with the company's business expansion initiatives, according to LCA-Vision. Marketing cost per eye was $390 compared with $391, the company said.

Net loss was $2.9 million, a $1.6 million improvement from a net loss of $4.5 million in the year ago period."Following four consecutive quarters of procedure volume increases, the third quarter revenue decline resulting from lower procedure volume is disappointing," said

LCA-Vision CFO Michael J. Celebrezze. "We were up against a difficult comparison from the third quarter of 2011 in which same-store procedure volume increased 18 percent from the prior year. We also were challenged by continued cautious consumer spending, as well as by factors specific to our direct-to-consumer marketing model that made it difficult to get our advertising messages heard.

"Both revenues and procedure volume increased for the first nine months of 2012 compared with the prior year. At the same time we reduced our expenses through cost-management measures," added Celebrezze. "However, the current environment is challenging and we face a tough comparison with the fourth quarter of 2011 in which year-over-year procedure volume increased by 30 percent."