Monday, July 13, 2015

Can I Make Money Off the New Lens in My Eye?

Last week I got the lens yanked out of my eyeball and replaced with a new one. A cataract operation! What a pleasurable experience that was, especially the after-effects of the anesthesia, vomiting all the way home. Anyway, my vision is clearer and since I am always looking for ways to turn lemons into lemonade, I was wondering if there are any stocks involved involved in the treatment of cataracts.

Anyone who reads many of my posts know that I come up with unusual and obscure lists of stocks, lists such as candy and chocolate stockscaffeine stocks, cord blood stocks, and cosmetic surgery stocks. Did you notice that all these examples begin with the letter 'C'? So here is another one, cataract stocks, the list of which can be found at

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Surprisingly, it is not just senior citizens that are afflicted with cataracts; people in their forties and fifties can have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute of the National Institute of Health. The causes are numerous, everything from smoking to medications to  ultraviolet light.

I started to do my research on the publicly traded cataract companies by looking at the manufacturers of the three different types of eyedrops that were prescribed for me. One, the Prednisolone Acetate, is distributed by Sandoz, a Novartis (NVS) company, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world by sales. However, the other two drops, Ketorolac Tromethamine and Ofloxacin, are made by a lessor known company, Akorn (AKRX).

Novartis is far from a pure play as it produces and market numerous types of pharmaceuticals for all types of treatments, not just eye care, plus they have extensive products in the animal health arena. The stock trades at a reasonable 12.6 times trailing earnings and 19.1 times forward earnings. It sports a yield of 2.7%.

Akorn is a $5 billion manufacturer and seller of prescription pharmaceuticals. The stock has a price to earnings ratio in the nosebleed area of 131 but a forward PE of 18.3. Potential investors should be aware that the company received a NASDAQ Delisting Notice for not filing its Form 10-Q on time.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty. STAAR Surgical Company (STAA) is a developer and manufacturer of the implantable lenses for the eye, along with the lens delivery systems. The company is currently generating negative earnings. Revenues for the latest quarter were down 6.6% year-over-year.

Keep an eye on these stocks. Keep them in your sight. Maybe you will see a good one on the free list of cataract stocks at

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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