Tough Economy Hits LCA-Vision as Procedures, Revenues Drop in Q2

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CINCINNATI—Refractive surgery firm LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV) continues to feel the impact of the economy on its revenues and procedure volumes, as the company implements more cost-cutting measures.

In the second quarter, LCA-Vision saw its total revenues drop to $31.7 million, down from $54.2 million in last year’s Q2. Procedure volumes in the quarter fell to 17,864, down from 30,086 in the same period in 2008; the company’s same-store revenues were off by 41.5 percent in Q2.

LCA-Vision posted a net loss of $6.9 million in the second quarter, vs. a net loss of $573,000 in last year’s Q2.

In the first six months of this year, LCA-Vision’s revenues were $79.6 million, down from $113.8 million in 2008’s first half. Procedure volumes in 2009’s first six months were 45,723, compared to the 74,245 laser surgeries performed in the same period last year.

The company had a net loss of $9.7 million in this year’s first half, vs. net income of $6.3 million in the first six months of 2008.

Stephen Straus, LCA-Vision’s chief executive officer, cited “reluctance on the part of Americans to spend on elective, self-pay surgical procedures” as a cause of the decline in procedures. Straus said he anticipates “continued volume softness” for the rest of this year, although he predicted year-over-year decreases should lessen as 2009 progresses.

The company has recently implemented additional cost-cutting measures, including another 9 percent work force reduction last month (bringing total job losses to 41 percent of LCA-Vision’s payroll since January) as the firm moves toward an increasingly part-time work force. LCA-Vision also closed four more locations during Q2, and will open no new centers for the rest of this year.