Bausch & Lomb's

(BOL)

third-quarter profit rose by a third, driven by strong sales in Asia, as the company easily beat expectations for the second quarter in a row.

The company known for its contact lens products reported earnings of 43.3 million, or 79 cents a share, vs. $ 32.3 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The consensus estimate was for 73 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Sales rose 8% to $548.9 million. Sales in Asia rose 14% vs. a 2% gain in the company's Americas region.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based company also said it expects full-year 2004 EPS of $2.85 to $2.90 and 2005 EPS of $3.30 to $3.40. The consensus forecasts are for $2.85 and $3.26 EPS, respectively.

In the second quarter, the company easily beat analysts' expectations with a 11% jump in revenue on net income of $41.4 million, or 76 cents a share. Bausch & Lomb also increased full-year earnings at the time.

Shares closed at $64.43 Tuesday.