Cooper Expands Avaira Recall - Analyst Blog


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CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies ( COO ), recently reported that it was widening the scope of its global recall of the Avaira brand of contact lenses to include select lots of Avaira Sphere contact lenses. In coordination with the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), CooperVision expanded the recall as the company noted that some lots of Avaira Sphere lenses did not adhere to its latest quality specifications on account of the level of a silicone oil residue.

Nearly 5 million contact lenses shipped to customers are being recalled by CooperVision. The company will continue to market Avaira Sphere lenses which are not a part of this recall.

Residual silicone oil on the Avaira Sphere contact lenses may lead to discomfort, blurred vision, pain or even injuries to the eye, necessitating medical attention. CooperVision recommends that those who experience such symptoms should immediately stop wearing lenses and contact their eye care professional for guidance.

The company unveiled a web-site, on November 16, 2011, to facilitate recall of the affected lenses. Users can enter the lot number of their contact lenses to determine if their lenses have been recalled. CooperVision is also running a toll-free customer hotline for this purpose. Customers are advised to return recalled lenses to their eye care professional.

Earlier, in August 2011, CooperVision recalled select lots of Avaira Toric contact lenses. The company has rectified the problem since then and corrective measures have been undertaken.     

The recall efforts of the company include measures such as - the issue of a press release regarding the recall; provide distributors and retailers with access to material for communicating with patients and extend support to eye care providers to remove recalled lenses from stores.    

Cooper is a global medical products company specializing in a wide range of contact lenses for the vision correction market with a smaller strategic business unit for women's health. It reportedly holds the number three position in the approximately $6 billion global contact lens industry.

Cooper is a leader in the high-margin toric lens market. It offers multiple designs of toric lenses, across a wide range of parameters, unlike some of its competitors, who offer toric lenses in a limited number of designs. The company is benefiting from strong demand for its Biofinity toric lenses.

However, Cooper faces formidable competition in each of its major product lines. Competition comes from globally well established contact lens makers such as Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) and Novartis ( NVS ). Depressed levels of consumer spending have heightened the competitive pressures on the company. We are currently Neutral on the stock, backed by a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
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