Last week, Staar announced the retirement of CEO Caren Mason, who held the role since 2015. The company named its current board chair Thomas Frinzi as her replacement.
Lake Forest, California–based Staar is the creator of implantable lenses for the eye and companion delivery systems.
According to BTIG analysts Ryan Zimmerman and Sam Durno, Staar provided little clarity over the reason behind the leadership change. They wrote in a report that management claimed the move “had been in the works for some time.” However, they asked why, with the change in the works, Staar elected to not reiterate its fiscal 2023 guidance of $355 million.
“If new CEO Tom Frinzi had been involved in STAA’s 3-year strategic plan (FY22 – FY25) as indicated, surely he would be comfortable with FY23 guidance,” they wrote. “We think the next step is a FY23 guidance reset given the aforementioned events.”
More about the analysts’ concern about Staar Surgical
Zimmerman and Durno added that it “behooves” Frinzi to set achievable results for the coming fiscal year. Realistic expectations around the launch of EVO lenses also remain imperative. Zimmerman and Durno said they priced in 25% growth for Staar, but if the company resets below those levels, shares may fall into the $30 range. Shares of STAA closed today at $46.82 apiece.
“None of this feels great, and frankly, shares are not likely to move until this cleaning event takes place,” Zimmerman and Durno wrote.
The duo retained a Buy rating for Staar because they believe the company may still “prove the naysayers wrong” in the next couple of years. They added that Staar has the cash to “add more muscle” behind its U.S. Evo launch. FDA’s concerns over LASIK could also aid Staar’s alternative offering.