Wesley Jessen VisionCare
, the contact lens maker battling a hostile bid by
Bausch & Lomb
while trying to complete a merger with
, reported earnings on Wednesday that beat Wall Street's expectations by a penny on increased demand for its products.
For the first quarter ended April 1, net income rose to $8.4 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, from $6.2 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
was 43 cents.
Revenue rose to $81.9 million from $76.3 million a year ago.
The Des Plaines, Ill.-based company's worldwide sales of disposable lenses grew 21.4% in the quarter to $47.5 million, accounting for 58% of total revenue. Total demand for disposable colored lenses was especially strong, with sales increasing 26% over the same period last year.
Disposable lens sales in the U.S. increased 16.2%, while international sales of disposable lens increased 29.2%.
Wesley Jessen's conventional lens business weakened. The company recorded a volume decline in worldwide sales of 7.5% and a sales decline in the U.S. of 13.4%.
Last week, Wesley Jessen said it was in
talks with a third party that would purchase both Wesley Jessen and Ocular Sciences. The move was an attempt to fend off Bausch & Lomb's $600 million all-cash bid of March 23, a bid which was itself an attempt to foil the $413 million all-stock merger deal between Wesley Jessen and Ocular Sciences.
But Wesley Jessen has also authorized its management to talk with Bausch & Lomb to try to negotiate a better offer.
Shares of Wesley Jessen fell 7/8, or 2%, to 37 1/8 in Wednesday morning trading. (Shares of Wesley Jessen finished flat at 38.)