This excerpt taken from the EYE 8-K filed Jul 13, 2005.
Intense competition in the laser vision correction industry could result in the loss of customers, an inability to attract new customers, a decline in the price VISX charges for its products and procedures or a decline in VISXs market share.
The medical device and ophthalmic laser industries are subject to intense competition and technological change. Not only does laser vision correction compete with more traditional vision correction options such as
eyeglasses and contact lenses, it also competes with other technologies and surgical techniques such as intraocular lenses and surgery using different types of lasers. In addition, the market for laser vision correction systems has become increasingly competitive in recent years as a result of FDA approval of several laser systems. The VISX STAR® Excimer Laser System competes with products marketed or under development by other laser and medical equipment manufacturers, many of which have greater financial and other resources. Competitors may offer laser systems at a lower price, may price their laser systems as part of a bundle of products or services, may lower the prices they charge for procedures, may develop procedures that involve a lower per procedure cost, or may offer products perceived as preferable to the VISX STAR® Excimer Laser System. In addition, medical companies, academic and research institutions and others could develop new therapies, including new medical devices or surgical procedures, for the conditions targeted by VISX, which therapies could be more medically effective and less expensive than laser vision correction, and could potentially render laser vision correction obsolete. Any such developments could result in reductions in the quantity or average prices of products sold by VISX and which could have a material adverse effect on VISXs business, financial position and results of operations.
Because of VISXs leading market position, all of VISXs competitors target VISX and its market share in order to grow their own revenues. We can give no assurance that VISX will be able to maintain or grow its existing market share and it may, in fact, be required to incur considerable expenditures in order to maintain or increase that market share. Should VISXs procedure market share decline, it could have a material adverse effect on VISXs business, financial position, and results of operations as well as the market price of VISXs common stock.