What happened

Shares of Glaukos (NYSE:GKOS) gained 16.3% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock is up 111% over the one-year period through March 6.

As its name might suggest, California-based Glaukos is involved in the glaucoma space. Specifically, the company describes its focus as "the development and commercialization of novel surgical devices and sustained pharmaceutical therapies designed to transform the treatment of glaucoma."

For some context, the S&P 500 index returned 3.2% in February and has returned 3.9% over the last year.

A mature man's eyes being examined by optometrist or ophthalmologist using a phoropter.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what 

While Glaukos stock had solid momentum throughout February, we can attribute the bulk of its robust performance last month to the company's Feb. 27 release of fourth-quarter results that were better than anticipated. Shares popped 9.3% the next day.

In the quarter, net revenue surged 30% year over year to $54.1 million, and earnings per share (EPS) jumped 33% to $0.04, crushing Wall Street's consensus estimate of a $0.13 loss per share. 

GKOS Chart

Data by YCharts.

"Glaukos delivered a strong finish to an excellent 2018 that saw us bolster our market leadership position with the U.S. launch of our next-generation iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass System, drive increased international commercial penetration, and make significant clinical and regulatory progress to advance our transformative pipeline, " CEO Thomas Burns said in the earnings release. 

Last June, Glaukos announced that it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass System for the "reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in adult mild-to-moderate primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients undergoing concomitant cataract surgery."

The following chart shows how Glaukos stock has performed over the last year. The big spike is a 40.3% rise on Aug. 29 following news that "Novartis will voluntarily remove its rival CyPass Micro-Stent product from the market due to a lack of efficacy," as my colleague George Budwell wrote at the time. Obviously, this move means less competition for Glaukos. Following this news, JP Morgan upgraded its rating on Glaukos stock from neutral to overweight, which likely added to the stock's gain.

GKOS Chart

Data by YCharts.

Here's how Glaukos stock has performed since its June 2015 initial public offering (IPO).

GKOS Chart

Data by YCharts.

Now what

For full-year 2019, Glaukos guided for net revenue of $220 million to $230 million, which represents growth of 21.3% to 26.9% year over year. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.