Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ESRX) raises doubts about meeting analyst forecasts

Express Scripts Holding Company(NASDAQ:ESRX), late Monday, said that the forecasts by analysts of its earnings for 2013 were too aggressive and was doubtful whether it would meet those expectations.

The estimates made by the analysts were on account of the better-than-expected results by the pharmacy benefits manager in the third quarter.

The company said that the weak economic outlook as well as the high unemployment in the United States was serious deterrents to its own growth prospects.

The doubts expressed by the management sent the shares of the company plunging down 14 percent. It also threw up questions about the company's ability to integrate its $29 billion purchase of Medco Health Solutions, from which it was supposed to get synergies and save on costs.

Express Scripts said third-quarter earnings excluding special items were $1.02 per share, compared with 79 cents a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting 99 cents a share.

Net income rose to $391.4 million from $324.7 million the year before. Third-quarter revenue increased to $27 billion from $11.57 billion. Claims rose 116 percent to 398.6 million.

Express Scripts raised the lower end of its forecast range for 2012 earnings by 5 cents and now projects full-year profit this year of $3.65 to $3.75 a share.

Analysts had projected Express Scripts would earn $4.49 a share in 2013, which the company held as too aggressive.

Shares of the company tumbled 11% in the opening session.

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