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Mentor Guides In Line

Mentor (MNT) said Monday that third-quarter earnings easily beat Wall Street's estimates while revenue narrowly topped analysts' consensus predictions.

The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based maker of breast implants also said its fiscal year sales would be in a range of $305 million to $315 million, in line with the $307.5 million from analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Mentor didn't provide an earnings estimate. For the fiscal year ending March 31, analysts are looking for $1.14, excluding one-time items.

When items are taken out of the third quarter, Mentor earned 36 cents a share on sales of $75.3 million from continuing operations. Analysts projected 25 cents and sales of $73.5 million.

All told, Mentor earned $13.63 million, or 29 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. For the same period in 2005, Mentor earned $12.74 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $63.1 million. GAAP figures include gains or losses from discontinued operations. Mentor sold its urology-products business in June 2006.

Mentor's improved quarter was aided by the Food and Drug Administration's approval in November of silicone gel breast implants for cosmetic use, ending 14 years of restrictions on such implants. The agency approved implants from Mentor and from its rival Allergan (AGN).

Mentor issued its financial report after the markets had closed. In regular trading, Mentor's stock rose 50 cents, or 1%, to close at $52.68. After hours, the stock gained a penny.

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