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Express Scripts 4Q profit jumps 48 percent

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 1:45pm
The Associated Press

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 48 percent on a boost in copayments as the company continued integrating NextRx.

For the period ended Dec. 31, the company reported net income of $329.6 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $223.3 million, or 40 cents per share, in the prior-year period. Revenue jumped 38 percent to $11.29 billion from just under $8.2 billion, partly on a boost from retail pharmacy co-payments.

Excluding charges, the company said it earned 71 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 70 cents per share in profit on $11.54 billion in revenue.

In April 2009, the company bought WellPoint Inc.'s pharmacy benefit management business NextRx for about $4.68 billion. Pharmacy benefits managers handle prescription drug benefits for health plan sponsors and members.

It said adjusted claims rose 24 percent to 191.3 million in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, the company earned $1.18 billion, or $2.17 per share, compared with $827.6 million, or $1.56 per share, in 2009. Revenue rose to $44.97 billion from $24.72 billion.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects adjusted profit between $3.15 per share and $3.25 per share in 2011. Analysts expect $3.21 per share.

Express Scripts' shares fell 72 cents to $56.70 in after-hours trading after falling 14 cents to close at $57.42 during the regular trading session.

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