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Value Stocks in the Eye of the Storm?

The eye-care industry may offer a respite for investors in turbulent times.

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Eye care is not a cure-all for investors. In fact, several firms with exposure to the LASIK markets have been among the hardest-hit this year. However, eye care is one of the most diverse industries we cover, with certain markets not only resistant to current economic woes but also blessed with terrific prospects for growth. In this article, we'll assess the recession profiles of every pure eye-care firm we cover, separating the economically resilient companies from the dependent ones. In the end, although the spectrum of eye care spans wide, we think one firm will clearly set itself apart from the rest.

Eye Care for All
In one way or another, eye care will affect nearly everyone on the planet. It is estimated that 170 million people in the U.S. alone require some form of vision correction, meaning that more than half of all Americans have eyes that don't work properly. And it gets worse. Unlike your heart, you can't exercise your eyes, meaning eye diseases are almost a certainty as we age. According the National Institutes of Health, while the odds are strongly against you developing a cataract by age 50 (1 in 40), that's not the case at age 70 (4 in 10) or at 80 (7 in 10). It's a similar story for macular degeneration and glaucoma, which combined will affect just 5% of us by age 60, but 43% of us by age 80. Add in a case of dry-eye along the way, and almost all of us will encounter eye care at some point in our lives.

Jeff Viksjo does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.