Alcon Inc. reported global sales increased 16.2 percent on the first quarter of 2008 to $1.54 billion and it announced greater foreign exchange gains.

Compared to the same period last year, net earnings for the first quarter increased 24 percent to $429.4 million or $1.43 per share from $346.2 million or $1.14 per share.

The results of the medical eye care developer met analysts forecasts, according to Reuters estimates.

Alcon foresees gains per share ranging from $6.39 to $6.49 a share in the full year. It's forecasts for the full year in January were of $6.24 to $6.30 per share.

It expects sales to climb between $6.4 billion and $6.5 billion compared to a previous projection of $6.18 billion to $6.28 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of full 2008 of $6.30 a share and revenue of $6.26 billion, marketwatch noted.

Shares of Alcon Inc. rose 1.19 percent to $153.37 at the closing trading of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.