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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 - Get Report).

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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