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Medco Health Solutions 1Q profit rises 4 percent

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 3:45am
The Associated Press

Pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc. said Thursday its profit rose 4 percent in the first quarter on an increase in the volume of mail-order generic drug prescriptions and retail prescriptions.

The Franklin Lakes, N.J., company said its profit rose to $333.1 million, or 80 cents per share, from $320.5 million, or 67 cents per share. Excluding one-time items, Medco says it earned 91 cents per share. Its revenue grew 4 percent, to $17.02 billion from $16.31 billion.

Analysts expected 88 cents per share and $17.06 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager said it handled 244.3 million prescriptions in the quarter, marking a 2.1 percent increase. Mail-order prescription volume rose 1.8 percent to 27.7 million, and included a 9.3 percent boost in generic mail-order prescription volume. Meanwhile, retail prescription volume rose 2.5 percent to 162 million.

Looking ahead, the company narrowed its 2011 profit outlook. It now expects profit, excluding amortization costs, between $4.02 and $4.12 per share, compared with prior guidance of $3.99 to $4.12 per share. Analysts expect $4.07 per share, on average.

Shares of Medco closed at $58.94 on Wednesday.

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