February 1, 2018 / 12:35 PM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Drug distributor McKesson's quarterly profit beats estimates

(Corrects paragraph 5 to say net income rose 42.6 pct, not 42.5 pct)

Feb 1 (Reuters) - McKesson Corp posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as the biggest U.S. drug distributor continues to benefit from its tie-up with Walmart .

McKesson and Walmart came together in 2016 to exert their combined negotiating power when buying generic drugs.

McKesson said its third-quarter results were also buoyed by growth in most of its segments. The company’s North America distribution business, its biggest, rose 8 percent.

Total revenue increased about 7 percent to $53.62 billion.

Net income attributable to McKesson jumped 42.6 percent to $903 million, or $4.33 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Excluding items, McKesson earned $3.41 per share, above the average analyst estimate of $2.94, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also narrowed its 2018 adjusted earnings forecast range to between $12.50 and $12.80 per share, from $11.80 to $12.50 as a result of a lower tax rate and share count. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra and Manas Mishra; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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