Tags: Express | Scripts | Earnings | Forecast

Express Scripts Misses Earnings Estimates, Reduces Forecast

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 06:25 PM

Express Scripts Holding Co., a pharmacy benefit manager that handles more than 1 billion prescriptions a year, reported first-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates on cold weather and fewer Obamacare enrollees. The company cut its 2014 forecast.

Separately, Express Scripts reported it received subpoenas from three different agencies regarding investigations into its contracts and relationships with drug companies including Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca Plc and Biogen Idec Inc. The St. Louis-based company Tuesday disclosed the February, March and April requests for information in a U.S. regulatory filing.

Net income fell to $328.3 million, or 42 cents a share, from $373 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier, the St. Louis, Missouri-based company said in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items of 99 cents a share missed the $1.01 average of 24 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The earnings were lower than projected because of a decrease in prescription drug volume during the quarter’s severe winter weather, later-than-expected enrollment in public health- care exchanges and fewer new patients, the company said. It reduced its 2014 earnings forecast to $4.82 to $4.94 a share, excluding one-time items, from $4.88 to $5.00 a share.

Express Scripts shares declined 4.8 percent to $67.61 in extended trading in New York after closing at $71.01. The shares have gained 21 percent in the past 12 months.

Investigations Reported

The Department of Justice from the District of Rhode Island in February asked Express Scripts for information about its contractual arrangements with Pfizer, Bayer EMD Serono and Biogen regarding the drugs Betaseron, Rebif and Avonex. A month later, the Attorney General of New Jersey asked for information on its arrangements with AstraZeneca regarding Nexium.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration queried the company about its client relationships from 2009 to the present. The New Jersey and Labor Department requests also covered the actions of Medco Health Solutions Inc., which Express Scripts bought in 2012.

Express Scripts said it is cooperating with the investigations and isn’t able to predict the timing or eventual results of the inquiries.

The company manages drug benefits for insurers, employers and government health plans and sell medicines through its mail-order pharmacy, serving as a middlemen between patients and drugmakers.

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Express Scripts Holding Co., a pharmacy benefit manager that handles more than 1 billion prescriptions a year, reported first-quarter earnings that missed analysts' estimates on cold weather and fewer Obamacare enrollees.
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2014-25-29
Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 06:25 PM
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