* Q4 EPS $1.61 excluding items vs Street view $1.51
* Revenue up 14.5 percent to $1.72 billion
(Adds sales details, outlook)
NEW YORK Feb 11 Eye care products maker Alcon
Inc ACL.N, which is being acquired by Swiss drugmaker
Novartis AG NOVN.VX, reported an 8 percent rise
infourth-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by double-digit
sales increases in the U.S. and emerging markets.
Alcon posted a net profit of $458 million, or $1.51 per
share, compared with $424 million, or $1.41 per share, a year
Excluding items, such as a $30 million tax expense, Alcon
earned $1.61 per share. Analysts on average expected $1.51
cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue for the quarter rose 14.5 percent to $1.72 billion,
exceeding Wall Street estimates of $1.6 billion.
U.S. sales rose 10 percent as prescription demand
strengthened and cataract procedure volumes improved, Alcon
said. International organic sales, driven by emerging markets,
grew more than 7 percent.
Alcon said quarterly worldwide sales of glaucoma products
rose 31 percent, while sales of advanced technology intraocular
lenses rose more than 42 percent.
For 2010, Alcon said it expects organic sales growth to
return to the mid-to-high single digits with full year
earnings of $7.30 to $7.55 per share.
Analysts have forecast 2010 earnings per share of $7.43 on
revenue of $6.89 billion.
The planned Novartis acquisition has been highly
contentious as the drugmaker has offered minority shareholders
substantially less to tender their Alcon shares that it will
pay Swiss conglomerate Nestle SA NESN.VX for its majority
stake in Alcon.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York, Deena Beasley in Los
Angeles, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)