* Q2 EPS ex-items 48 cents vs Street view 62 cents
* Chops 2010 EPS view to $2.00-$2.10 from $2.60-$2.70
* Shares fall 10 pct
By Ransdell Pierson
NEW YORK, Aug 5 Omnicare Inc OCR.N, which
provides pharmacy services to nursing homes, posted
disappointing quarterly earnings and issued a full-year profit
forecast far below Wall Street estimates, sending its shares
down 10 percent.
The company, whose longtime CEO retired unexpectedly on
Saturday, said the volume of drug prescriptions filled was down
It earned $11.6 million, or 10 cents a share, in the second
quarter, down from $28.7 million, or 24 cents per share, a year
Excluding one-time items, it earned 48 cents per share.
Analysts on average expected 62 cents, according to Thomson
Revenue fell 1.4 percent to $1.52 billion, a bit below Wall
Street expectations of $1.53 billion.
During the quarter, Omnicare dispensed 29.8 million
prescriptions, 3.8 percent fewer than in the year-earlier
Citing the weak trends, Omnicare slashed its full-year
profit forecast to between $2.00 and $2.10 per share excluding
special items. Just three months ago, it forecast $2.60 to
$2.70 per share.
"While we are disappointed to be lowering our full-year
2010 guidance, we are looking at a variety of strategies to
restore profitable top-line growth," James Shelton, Omnicare's
interim chief executive, said in a statement.
Omnicare shares fell $2.52 to $22.74 in morning trading on
the New York Stock Exchange.
WEAKNESS A SURPRISE - ANALYST
Leerink Swann analyst Jason Gurda said Omnicare's weak
quarterly results caught Wall Street by surprise.
"When we visited with the company in mid-June, we didn't
see any sign, or get any indication, that operations had
deteriorated this much," Gurda said in a research note.
Gurda speculated the company was being conservative in its
new 2010 profit view. He called the retirement of CEO Joel
Gemunder a long-term positive that could lead to a "new or
fresh growth strategy" for the Covington, Kentucky-based
Gemunder, 71, had been with Omnicare for decades, serving
as president since 1981 and CEO since 2001.
Shelton, a board member of Omnicare and former chairman of
Triad Hospitals, was picked to serve as Omnicare president and
CEO until a permanent replacement for Gemunder is selected.
During the second quarter, Omnicare said it served nursing
homes and other long-term care facilities with a total of 1.35
million beds, down from 1.37 million beds in the year-earlier
The company -- which operates in 47 states, the District of
Columbia and Canada -- is the largest U.S. provider of pharmacy
services to the elderly.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; editing by John Wallace)