OPTS – poor interims

OPTS (Optos) published its interims on the 16th, sending its share price down 23% on the week. Revenues fell by 15% against comps, and it reported an operating loss before exceptionals.

This reflected the inherent difficulty in forecasting growth trajectories and timing of sales during the initial launch of a new product such as Daytona; and lower than expected sales due to macro-economic factors, notably in Europe.

I always get a bit twitchy when the macro is blamed for poor company performance. That, and the weather.

OPTS is a company that I had invested in the past, but bailed out on in Jan 2013 at around 195p at a small loss – certainly much smaller loss than if I had held on. It shows that you shouldn’t be afraid of cutting and running if you think you’ve got it wrong. In investing, mistakes happen.

It’s a pity really, because OPTS was one of those great-sounding companies that somehow fail to live up to expectations. The company produces devices that take “optomaps” – pictures of the eyes’ retinas. They are unique in the amount of surface they cover. There’s an interesting on Youtube on what they look like, and the kind of diseases they can detect, some of which has no relationship to the eyes themselves. They can detect diabetes and malanomas, for example.

OPTS is on a forward PER of 8.3, which is hardly racy. I think there are easier companies to have a crack at, though. I suspect that the share price will drift now, and will need further news to give it new direction for better or worse.

On Twitter, @PaulBai123 noted:

specsavers Newark never heard of them (poss unfair if franchsed, no choice of equip?) plus x2 local. i sold 2012


Strange they have great products, but no opticians in UK know about them. Sales strategy incorrect?

I myself had noted that the share price action had been rather mediocre since 2011.

I had asked my opticians about Optos, and she said that she was aware of the company and their devices, and had used them for a trial period. She didn’t stick with them, though, because she said she found it hard to interpret the images, as they were unfamiliar compared with her standard methods.


About mcturra2000

Computer programmer living in Scotland.
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