Stifel lifts Alcon target to $95, maintains buy on solid outlook

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Stifel lifts Alcon target to $95, maintains buy on solid outlook
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On Wednesday, Stifel, a financial services firm, raised its price target for Alcon Inc. (NYSE: ALC ) shares to $95.00, up from the previous target of $85.00, while keeping a Buy rating on the stock. The adjustment follows Alcon's recent earnings report and the company's guidance for the coming year.

Alcon's performance in the market was notably strong on Wednesday, surpassing expectations. Despite mixed results in the fourth quarter of 2023 and earnings per share (EPS) guidance that is weighted towards the latter half of the year, the company's 2024 guidance was well-received.

The guidance suggested a more positive outcome than what investors had initially feared, which appears to have mitigated any potential concerns.

The company's management expressed confidence in their revenue projections, especially in the Implantables segment. While operating margin (OpM) expectations indicate a significant improvement in the second half of 2024, the first half's projection of a 100 basis points year-over-year decline is seen as potentially conservative.

Looking further ahead, Stifel's outlook for Alcon is optimistic, particularly for 2025 and 2026. The firm anticipates additional contributions from the China Intraocular Lens Value-Based Purchasing program in 2025, the introduction of Unity VCS/DX in late 2024, and the expected launch of AR-15512 in the United States by mid-2025.

These factors contribute to a positive multi-year outlook for Alcon, which Stifel regards as a core holding stock.

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