UPDATE 2-LCA-Vision posts Q3 loss, to close 8 more centers

* Q3 loss 45 cents/shr vs est loss 31/shr

* To close eight more centers

* Not to open new stores in near future

* To take charge of $4.3 mln in Q4

* Shares fall 7 pct
(Adds details, analyst comments; updates stock movement)

BANGALORE, Oct 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Laser vision-correction
provider LCA-Vision Inc (LCAV.O: ) posted a tenth straight
quarterly loss and said it will shut down eight underperforming
centers as it continues to cut cost to ride out the industry
slowdown.

The company’s shares, which have gained around 20 percent
since its second-quarter loss, were trading down 4 percent at
$5.95 Tuesday afternoon on Nasdaq. They touched a low of $5.78
earlier in the day.

The company, which operates under the Lasik Plus brand,
said it will be able to fund its business beyond 2012 with its
ongoing cost-cutting measures if it performs at least 52,000
procedures annually.

The company has done 45,829 procedures so far this year.

Maxim Group LLC analyst Anthony Vendetti said although the
company should be able to ride out the softness in volumes with
the ongoing cost cutting measure at place, the company could
close more centers in the future.

“Despite signs of stabilization in the business over the
last several quarters, it is clear that procedure volume
continues to be impacted by broader macroeconomic headwinds and
visibility remains low,” William Blair & Co analyst Ryan
Daniels said.

Daniels, who maintained his “market perform” rating on the
stock, said as LASIK is a $3,000 or more discretionary
purchase, it will be difficult for the company to see a real
turnaround until U.S. consumer spending fully rebounds.

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a
vision correction procedure which cuts a flap in the eye and
uses a laser to reshape the cornea.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company, which closed 12 vision
centers in 2009, said it will close centers in four more
markets and incur related charge of $4.3 million in the fourth
quarter.

Seven of the centres will be closed in mid-December, and
the eighth is planned for April 2011 when the center’s lease
expires.

The company will also consolidate center operations in four
markets.

“We also are making tangible progress in activities to
diversify into related eye health businesses,” LCA-Vision chief
financial officer Michael Celebrezze added.

The company is currently rolling out a program to sell eye
drops throughout its network, and expects to generate “modest
revenue” in the coming quarters.

WIDER-THAN-EXPECTED Q3 LOSS

For the third quarter, the company posted a loss of $8.4
million, or 45 cents a share, while analysts, on average, had
expected a loss of 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

Procedure volumes declined about 25 percent to 11,497, the
lowest since the second quarter of 2009.

Revenue fell to $20.3 million from $27.6 million, compared
with analyst estimates of $21.1 million.
(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Krishnakali Sengupta
in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan and Don Sebastian)

UPDATE 2-LCA-Vision posts Q3 loss, to close 8 more centers