STAAR's commercial launch of EVO in the United States is a great development for shareholders.
August 20, 2022
STAAR Surgical (Nasdaq: STAA) got any important approval from the FDA earlier this summer that will allow it to commercialize its newest EVO ICL lenses in the United States. It’s widely-believed that the US will be able to support the highest prices for the company’s latest-and-greatest implantable lenses, which will serve as an alternative to LASIK corrective surgery.
The EVO commercial launch is now underway. STAAR has enlisted Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers to help promote its products as a solution to nearsightedness. After 20 years of wearing contacts, Jonas had the EVO lenses implanted and has been a happy customer.
This news served as the focal point (pun once again intended) of STAAR’s stellar second quarter results. Global sales increased 35% in constant-currencies to $84 million and unit volumes were up 42%. CEO Caren Mason declared that international growth was going “even better than expected”; ICL unit growth was 45% in China, 41% in Japan, and 181% in India.
Now that ICL procedures are taking place in the US, all eyes will be on the upcoming third quarter results. STAAR is facing foreign exchange headwinds — where its sales recognized internationally are converting to fewer dollars at home as the USD strengthens — and also the potential of less consumer discretionary spending in the event of an upcoming recession. Yet regardless of these challenges, it reaffirmed its full-year guidance of $295 million in sales. Year-over-year, that would represent 28% growth. I think the company’s sandbagging and the upcoming 3Q results will be even better than that.
Longer-term, STAAR is still notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to revealing its pricing, though I previously estimated that EVO ICL lenses in the US could sell for up to $2,500 per eye. Based upon one of STAAR’s early-adopting doctors, it appears that expectation was too high; and that actual ICL pricing could start at closer around $1,000 per lens/$2,000 per patient. If we still assume 75,000 procedures per year (which would represent 10% share of the market), we’re talking on the order of $150 million in incremental revenue per year. That’s a cool 50% expansion of today’s total top-line.
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