Staar Surgical Co. reported a higher fourth quarter loss due to impairment charges and an unfavorable verdict in a patent suit.

After Monday's markets closed, the Monrovia maker of implantable contact lenses and other ophthalmic products reported a net loss of $9.5 million (-32 cents per share) for the quarter ended Jan. 2, compared with $4.3 million (-15 cents a year ago.

Revenue grew 14 percent to $18.2 million, largely due to strong sales in Japan of $3.7 million. Excluding Japan, total sales declined 9 percent, with U.S. sales down by 6 percent. The company blamed slower sales on distributors reducing inventories due to the poor economy.

Staar took a $1 million non-cash expense associated with the impairment of certain patents. It also set aside a $4.9 million reserve for a recent jury verdict in a patent case. The verdict, which favored Parallex Medical Systems Inc., added 17 cents to the loss and the patent impairment charge added 3 cents.

Staar shares were up 3 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $1.22 in Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq.

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