Feb 20 Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts
Holding Co on Thursday forecast 2014 earnings in line
with Wall Street expectations and said it sees long-term
earnings growth of up to 20 percent per year.
The company reported fourth quarter profit that matched
"Based on assumptions regarding healthcare trends, industry
positioning and the overall environment, the company is
targeting annual earnings per share growth of 10 per cent to 20
per cent for the next several years," St Louis-based Express
said in a release announcing its quarterly results.
The company said it was well positioned to gain market share
as well as benefit from the growth of home delivery and
specialty drugs and from healthcare reform that will place a
premium on lowering costs.
Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, administer drug benefits
for employers and health plans and also run large mail order
For 2014, Express forecast adjusted earnings of $4.88 to $5
per share, giving the company room to exceed analysts' current
average estimates of $4.93 per share.
The company reported net income of $506 million, or 63 cents
per share, compared with a profit of $511 million, or 61 cents
per share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company had adjusted earnings of $1.12
per share. Analysts on average were expecting $1.12, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue for the quarter of $25.78 billion topped Wall Street
estimates of $25.36 billion.
Overall use of generic drugs for the quarter edged up to
80.9 percent from 79.8 percent a year earlier. Increased use of
generic medicines cut healthcare costs of PBM customers and add
to Express Scripts' bottom line.
Express Scripts shares fell to $75 in extended trading from
a Nasdaq close at $77.12. The stock had been on a roll, with
shares up about 10 percent so far this year and by more than 25
percent over the past four months.