Stock #2 – Alcon (ACL)
Alcon (ACL) is one of the world leaders in eye care products. Shares are cruising at around $140 right now, and the company’s market cap is an impressive $42.3 billion. This Swiss health care company produces everything from contact lens solution that you find in your local grocery store to cutting-edge surgical products used in the world’s top hospitals.
In its latest quarterly report at the end of October, Alcon said its profit fell 18% compared with last year, but that was largely due to a huge tax benefit in 2008. The important number to look at for ACL is the earnings estimate, which was a mere $1.45 per share compared with Alcon’s $1.71 per share, resulting in a 18% earnings surprise as this company trounced expectations. What’s more, revenue rose an impressive 6%, even while many competitors continue to lose ground in this challenging market.
With health care reform taking place on Capitol Hill right now, Alcon is poised to cash in big-time. That’s because whatever the details of the final bill in Washington, the bottom line is that Congress is focusing on increasing coverage and access to insurance. That means more customers for Alcon — and whether the insurance companies, Uncle Sam or individual patients foot the bill is irrelevant. I rate Alcon a good buy right now and expect share prices to continue to move higher.
- Poll of the Day