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Tata Steel in the Dumps, Posting Largest Quarterly Loss in Four Years

Tata Steel Ltd., India’s biggest producer, posted a third-quarter loss almost four times greater than analysts estimated as the economic slowdown in its biggest market spurred a decline in demand and prices.

The loss, including that of unit Tata Steel Europe Ltd., widened to 7.63 billion rupees ($142 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 6.03 billion rupees a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said today in a statement. The median loss estimate of 25 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was 1.99 billion rupees. Sales fell 3.5 percent to 318.2 billion rupees.

Steel-industry earnings have slumped as Europe’s economic crisis saps demand and slower Chinese growth weighs on commodity prices. Steelmakers in Europe, where Tata makes two-thirds of its production, are grappling with excess capacity, falling prices and rising operating costs. The region has a capacity to make about 210 million metric tons of steel a year, while demand in a “normal market” is 150 million to 160 million tons, according to industry lobby group Eurofer.

Total costs were 313.3 billion rupees, compared with 323.5 billion rupees. Mumbai-based Tata Steel earned 558.6 million rupees from sources other than its main business, while finance expenses were little changed at 10.3 billion rupees.

Tata Steel’s global depositary receipts in London fell as much as 6.7 percent to $6.795 and traded at $6.845 as of 11:06 a.m. local time. The Mumbai-traded shares closed down 2.3 percent to 376 rupees before the earnings were announced. The benchmark Sensitive Index gained 0.2 percent today.

Falling Prices…”

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SocGen Tanks After Missing Earnings Estimates

Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest bank, posted a fourth-quarter loss after writing down its stake in derivatives broker Newedge Group and setting aside 300 million euros ($403 million) for legal expenses.

The shares fell after the Paris-based lender said today it had a net loss of 476 million euros, compared with a 100 million-euro profit a year earlier. That missed the average estimate for a loss of 203 million euros by 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank had goodwill writedowns of 392 million euros in the quarter, mostly on Newedge.

Societe Generale cut jobs and sold assets last year to cope with stricter international capital and liquidity rules after French banks had their access blocked to U.S. dollar funding and European debt markets. The writedowns and litigation costs in the quarter offset a rebound in earnings at the corporate- and investment-banking unit, where the firm trimmed about 1,600 jobs in 2012 after shuffling management at the business.

“Clearly the beginning of the year was good” for capital markets even if for the economic outlook “no one is expecting an upside” this year, Chief Executive Frederic Oudea, 49, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We know that 2013 will be a year of transition for Europe.”

Societe Generale dropped 3.6 percent to 31.49 euros at 9:16 a.m. in Paris, cutting its gain this year to 11 percent and giving it a market value of 24.7 billion euros. BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, has added 7.3 percent in the period….”

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$BWLD Beats Revenue Estimates, Misses on EPS

“Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) are down $3.65, or almost 5%, at $77.42 after the company this afternoon reported Q4 revenue that topped consensus but missed on the bottom line, citing rising costs.

Revenue in the three months ended in December rose 38%, year over year, to $303.8 million, yielding EPS of 90 cents.

Analysts had been modeling $293 million and 96 cents.

CEO Sally Smith noted the 38% rise in revenue and same-store sales growth of 5.8% at its owned restaurants, but added that “High cost of sales continued in the fourth quarter, offsetting some of the bottom-line benefit of the fourteenth week, resulting in net earnings growth of 22.3% for the fourth quarter and 13.6% for the year.”

For this year, the company sees net earnings growth of 25%. Smith said same-store sales are difficult to compare in the current quarter because of the off-set with last year in the sporting event calendar…”

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$CLF Cuts Dividend by 76% After Reporting a Loss of $11.36 Per Share Loss for Q4


Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. iron ore producer, cut its quarterly dividend by 76 percent after the price of the commodity declined and a Canadian mining project was delayed.

It reduced the payout to 15 cents a share, the Cleveland- based company said today in a statement. In March, the company raised the dividend to 62.5 cents from 28 cents and said it would shift its strategic focus from mergers and acquisitions to organic growth while returning capital to shareholders.

“The year proved to be challenging both from a market perspective and operationally,” Chairman and Chief Executive Joseph Carrabba said in the statement. “Our ramp-up of Bloom Lake mine has been slower than originally anticipated, resulting in decreased volumes and increased costs.”

Cliffs fell 8 percent to $33.76 at 4:41 p.m. after the close of regular trading in New York.

Cliffs reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.62 billion, or $11.36 a share, compared with a net income of $185.4 million, or $1.30, a year earlier. Earnings excluding a $1 billion writedown of assets and other one-time items were 62 cents, beating the 51-cent average of 20 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales fell 4.2 percent to $1.54 billion, trailing the $1.53 billion average of 14 estimates…..”

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$RAX Tanks in A.H. After Posting Earnings

“For the quarter ended December 31, 2012:

  • Net revenue of $353 million grew 25% year-over-year and 5.0% from Q3 2012
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $130 million grew 27% year-over-year and 6.6% from Q3 2012
  • Achieved adjusted EBITDA margin of 36.8%, up from 36.1% year-over-year and 36.2% in Q3 2012
  • Net income of $30 million grew 19% year-over-year and 10.0% from Q3 2012

Rackspace® Hosting, Inc. (RAX), the open cloud company, announced financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2012.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $353 million, up 5.0% from the previous quarter and 25% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was positively impacted by currency exchange rates when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 by $1.8 million and positively impacted when compared to the previous quarter by $1.4 million.

Total server count increased to 90,524, up from 89,051 servers at the end of the previous quarter, and total customers increased to 205,538, up from 197,635 at the end of the previous quarter.

“We are very pleased with the financial results we have delivered in 2012. Even more importantly, we are excited about the growth opportunities that our new set of open cloud products will provide us in the future,” said Karl Pichler, chief financial officer.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $130 million, a 6.6% increase compared to the third quarter of 2012 and a 27% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter was 36.8% compared to 36.2% in the previous quarter and 36.1% for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Consistent with prior periods, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin were negatively impacted by a non-cash charge relating to data center operating leases. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the non-cash data center lease charge was $2.9 million.

Net income was $30 million for the quarter, up 10.0% from the previous quarter and up 19% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Net income margin for the quarter was 8.5% compared to 8.1% for the previous quarter and 8.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011…”

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$KO Tops Bottom Line Estimates, Misses on revs


Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest soft-drink maker, said fourth-quarter profit rose 13 percent as sales volumes gained in North America.

Net income climbed to $1.87 billion, or 41 cents a share, from $1.66 billion, or 36 cents, a year earlier, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 45 cents a share, compared with the 44-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent has restructured bottling operations in the U.S., its most profitable market, to respond to consumer demand for healthier beverages and varied package sizes. The company, which now bottles about 80 percent of its drink volume in the U.S., announced today it was paring the number of distribution regions in its bottling unit.

“Non-carbonated beverages will continue to grow faster than carbonated drinks in North America as Coke broadens its portfolio and consumers increasingly opt for healthier options,”Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst for Morningstar Inc. in Chicago, said before the results. Mullarkey has a three-star rating on the shares, equivalent to a hold.

Coca-Cola fell 0.4 percent to $38.61 yesterday in New York. The shares had increased 6.5 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 6.4 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Revenue advanced 3.8 percent to $11.46 billion. Analysts estimated $11.5 billion.”

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Cost Cutting Helps $AVP to Beat Estimates


Avon Products Inc., the world’s largest door-to-door cosmetics seller, reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit that topped analysts’ estimates as new Chief Executive Officer Sheri McCoytrimmed costs.

Excluding items such as restructuring charges and costs to impair some assets, profit was 37 cents a share, the New York- based company said today in a statement. That exceeded the 27- cent average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

McCoy, who took over in April, is cutting about 1,500 jobs and leaving the South Korea and Vietnam markets as part of a plan to save $400 million by the end of 2015. The company today said it had reduced operating expenses because of lower brochure, overhead and advertising costs.

“Earnings growth will become visible in the second half of 2013 as the strategies of new CEO Sheri McCoy are implemented,” Connie Maneaty, an analyst at Bank of Montreal in New York, wrote in a Feb. 11 note. She rates the shares outperform, the equivalent of a buy.

The net loss widened to $162.2 million, or 37 cents a share, from a loss of $400,000, or breakeven on a per-share basis, a year earlier, the company said. Sales fell 1.4 percent to $2.96 billion. Analysts estimated $3.01 billion, on average.

The shares rose 2.6 percent to $17.28 yesterday in New York. Avon fell 18 percent last year, its third straight annual decline.”

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Nissan Car Sales Fall on China Car Sale Slump

“TOKYO (AP) — Nissan Motor Co. suffered a 35 percent plunge in October-December profit to 54.1 billion yen ($579 million) as global sales languished, especially in China, where anti-Japanese sentiment flared over a territorial dispute.

Quarterly sales dipped 5.3 percent from a year earlier to 2.2 trillion yen ($23.5 billion), Yokohama-based Nissan said Friday. Nissan’s earnings fell short of the 61 billion yen ($652 million) profit forecast by a FactSet survey of analysts.

All the Japanese automakers have reported sales declines in China, where a territorial dispute set off anti-Japanese riots and boycotts in the last months of 2012. A slowdown in Europe added to Nissan’s woes. Nissan also struggled in the key U.S. market, which was booming for rival Toyota Motor Corp.

Corporate Vice President Joji Tagawa acknowledged Nissan’s performance had not reached its targets, but promised a recovery.

China sales in January showed some recovery and Nissan was also planning new models in the U.S., he told reporters.

Nissan’s sales were strong in other parts of the world, including Brazil, the Middle East and Asia excluding China as well as Japan.

Nissan, based in the port city of Yokohama, stuck to its forecasts for a 320 billion yen ($3.4 billion) profit on 9.82 trillion yen ($105 billion) sales in the fiscal year ending March, despite the solid perk it is getting from a weaker yen….”

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$MCO Posts Huge Profits, Guides Higher for 2013

“(Reuters) – Credit rating agency Moody’s Corp , which could face a federal lawsuit tied to pre-crisis ratings, said quarterly profit jumped 66 percent and the company forecast strong 2013 earnings.

The company has been benefiting as firms refinance debt to take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates to access cheap funding.

Moody’s said it expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.45 to $3.55 per share and full-year revenue growth rate in the high single digits percent range.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $3.18 per share, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The growth rate at the Investor Services unit, which houses the bond rating business, is set to slow. The company forecast revenue growth at the unit in the high-single-digit percent range, compared with the 20 percent rise in 2012.

Net income rose to $160.1 million, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $96.2 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 33 percent to $754.2 million.

Global corporate finance business rose 73 percent to $244.9 million.


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$SNE Tanks the Most in Years on a Surprise Loss

Sony Corp. shares dropped the most in four years after reporting an eighth consecutive quarter of losses, an unpleasant surprise for investors who borrowed money to buy the stock on bets the weaker yen would help turn around Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics.

A 59 percent jump this year by the maker of PlayStation game consoles helped drive the number of the shares being held in margin accounts to a 13-year high, according to datacompiled by Bloomberg. The accounts held 5.48 million shares as of yesterday, the most since March 2000, the data show.

Sony shares slumped 10 percent to close at 1,365 yen, the biggest decline since November 2008. The company’s 150 billion yen ($1.6 billion) of convertible bonds due in 2017 fell the most since November, sliding 8.8 percent to 147 yen per 100 yen in face value, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

“Speculators who have been rushing to buy Sony on expectation that the weakening yen will turn the earnings around must be disappointed,” said Mitsushige Akino, Tokyo-based chief fund officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co., which oversees about $356 million. “They will close their positions to take profits or minimize losses.”

Sony rebounded 92 percent through yesterday from a 32-year low on Nov. 15. Japan’s exporters have rallied on speculation earnings will improve on the weaker yen, said Amir Anvarzadeh, a Singapore-based manager for Asia equity sales at BGC Partners Inc.

Declining Yen…”

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$LNKD Blows Street Estimates Away


“LinkedIn reported adjusted earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $304 million for the fourth quarter.

Analysts had expected the social-media giant to report earnings excluding items of 19 cents a share on $280 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

What is LinkedIn stock doing now? (Click here to track the company’s shares following its earnings release.)

This is a breaking news story. Please check back on CNBC.com for updates to this article.”

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$CSTR Falls in A.H. After Missing Earnings and Guiding Lower


“Feb 7 (Reuters) – Coinstar Inc, the operator of Redbox video rental kiosks, reported a 28 percent drop in quarterly profit, sending its shares down 8 percent in extended trade.

The company’s net income fell to $22.8 million, or 75 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $31.5 million, or $1.00 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 8.4 percent to $564.1 million.

The company’s shares closed at $52.10 on the Nasdaq on Thursday….”

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$S Posts a Huge Loss Despite Rising Revenues


“NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint Nextel, the country’s third largest wireless carrier, says it lost $1.3 billion in its fourth quarter, about the same as a year ago, as it revamped its network for a comeback versus bigger competitors.

The Overland Park, Kan., company lost 44 cents per share in the October to December period versus 43 cents per share in the previous year.

The loss was slightly smaller than analysts had predicted. The average Wall Street forecast as polled by FactSet was 46 cents per share.

Revenue was $9 billion, up 3.2 percent from a year ago and slightly above analyst expectations of $8.9 billion.

Long-ailing Sprint Nextel Corp. has agreed to sell 70 percent of itself to Softbank Corp. of Japan for $20 billion. That deal is expected to close this summer.”

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$SNE Trims Quarterly Loss, Helped by Weakening Yen


“TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. is still struggling but managed to reduce its red ink for the latest quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company aims for a comeback from record yearly losses.

Sony on Thursday reported a 10.7 billion yen ($115 million) loss for the October-December quarter compared with a 158 billion yen loss a year earlier.

The company had a record loss of 457 billion yen for the fiscal year through March 2011 as its TV business struggled and it suffered from factory and supplier damage in northeastern Japan from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Quarterly sales inched up nearly 7 percent to 1.95 trillion yen ($21 billion) despite declining sales of gadgets such as flat-panel TVs and Blu-ray video recorders, but only because Sony got a perk from a weaker yen.

The yen has been weakening because of expectations the central bank will ease monetary policy and that helped Sony by boosting the value of its overseas sales.

Sony has lost money for the past four years as it fell behind powerful rivals such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in profitability and innovation…”

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$CS Misses Estimates, Hikes Cost Cutting Expectations

“Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, raised its target for cost reductions for a third time in seven months as it posted fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Credit Suisse will seek an additional 400 million Swiss francs ($441 million) in cost savings by the end of 2015, on top of 4 billion francs in planned cuts announced since 2011, the Zurich-based company said today.

Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the measures the bank has already taken put it in a position to “thrive” regardless of market conditions. The company’s fourth-quarter net income of 397 million francs compared with a year-earlier loss and the 647.6 million-franc estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“We’re coming into 2013 very well positioned, having done a lot of hard work of reducing costs, of reducing our risk- weighted assets,” Dougan, 53, said in the interview. “We really have a business model that’s ready to perform I think quite well and resiliently in 2013 and beyond.”

Credit Suisse was down 0.9 percent to 26.77 francs by 2 p.m. Before today, the stock had risen 59 percent over the past six months, compared with a 26 percent gain in the 40-companyBloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index.

Capital Distribution…”

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$YELP Beats on the Top Line, Misses by $0.03 on Bottom Line

“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Yelp Inc. (YELP), the company that connects consumers with great local businesses, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2012.


  • Net revenue was $41.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, reflecting 65% growth in net revenue from the fourth quarter of 2011
  • Cumulative reviews grew 45% year over year to more than 36 million at the end of 2012
  • Average monthly unique visitors grew 31% year over year to approximately 86 million*
  • Active local business accounts grew 68% year over year to approximately 39,800

Net loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $5.3 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to a net loss of $9.1 million, or $0.56 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2012 was approximately $1.8 million, compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $15,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Net revenue for the full year ended December 31, 2012 was $137.6 million, an increase of 65% compared to $83.3 million in the same period last year.  Net loss for the full year ended December 31, 2012 was $19.1 million, or $0.35 per share, compared to a net loss of $16.9 million, or $1.10 per share, for the comparable period in 2011. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2012 was approximately $4.6 million compared to an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $1.1 million for the prior year.

“2012 was a tremendous year for Yelp,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s chief executive officer. “We completed a successful IPO, launched new products to improve the Yelp experience for consumers and business owners, expanded into new markets while increasing our presence in existing ones, and completed our first acquisition.  We believe 2013 will be a tipping point for our brand in Europe as Yelp continues to become a trusted local resource.  Our mobile strategy will remain a top priority as engagement increases, and we will continue to focus on the business owner, creating more ways to measure the value of Yelp leads.”…”

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$NWS Posts $1.01 Per share A Massive Increase YoY


“News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today reported $9.43 billion of total revenue for the three months ending December 31, 2012, a $450 million or 5% increase over the $8.98 billion of revenue reported in the prior year quarter. The revenue increase was led by $398 million or 18% growth at the Company’s Cable Network Programming segment.

The Company reported second quarter total segment operating income(1) of $1.58 billion compared to $1.50 billion reported a year ago. The improvement was led by operating income improvements at the Company’s Cable Network Programming and Television segments. The second quarter results included $56 million of costs related to the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World as compared to $87 million in the corresponding period of the prior year. This year’s second quarter results also included $23 million of costs related to the proposed separation of the Company’s entertainment and publishing businesses. Excluding these costs from both years, second quarter adjusted total segment operating income of $1.66 billion increased $75 million or 5% from $1.58 billion reported in the second quarter of the prior year.

The Company reported quarterly net income attributable to stockholders of $2.38 billion ($1.01 per share), compared to $1.06 billion ($0.42 per share) reported in the corresponding period of the prior year. This quarter’s pre-tax results included $1.40 billion of income in Other, net, principally related to gains on the acquisitions of additional ownership stakes in FOX SPORTS Australia and Fox Star Sports Asia (formerly ESPN Star Sports), as well as a $131 million gain from the Company’s participation in British Sky Broadcasting’s (“BSkyB”) share repurchase program, which is reflected in Equity earnings of affiliates. These gains were partially offset by $65 million of restructuring and impairment charges, primarily related to the Company’s international newspaper businesses. Excluding the net income effects of these items, the costs related to the investigations in the U.K. and the proposed separation of the Company’s entertainment and publishing businesses, along with comparable items in both years, second quarter adjusted earnings per share(2) was $0.44 compared with the adjusted prior year quarter result of $0.39….”

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$GMCR Beats Estimates With Revs Growing 16%, Guidance Off, Stock Tanks 10%


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (GMCR) (GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, today announced its first quarter fiscal year 2013 results for the 13 weeks ended December 29, 2012.

“Our strong first quarter performance underscores the connection consumers have to their Keurig® brewers; the soundness of our business model; and, the value inherent in our brand portfolio,” said Brian P. Kelley, GMCR’s President and CEO. “While the GAAP earnings comparison was affected by a non-recurring gain on the sale of Filterfresh in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, our non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.76 grew 27%.”

“The Keurig® Single Cup brewing system is a powerful breakthrough for the beverage business, with significant untapped potential in the U.S. and globally. We are in the early days of a marked evolution in how consumers purchase, prepare and customize hot beverages in their homes,” said Kelley. “With a robust innovation pipeline and a growing awareness and commitment to the Keurig® brand, GMCR is well positioned to continue to lead this disruptive shift in consumer behavior.” ..”

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$CVS Posts a 6% Increase in Profits


“CVS Caremark’s fourth-quarter earnings climbed 6 percent, as new customers and Medicare prescription drug plans helped its pharmacy benefits management business, and revenue from the chain’s established drugstores grew.

The Woonsocket, R.I., company said Wednesday it earned $1.13 billion, or 90 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with earnings of $1.06 billion, or 81 cents per share, in the same period in 2011.

Adjusted earnings totaled $1.14 per share, while revenue climbed nearly 11 percent to $31.39 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $1.10 per share on $31.14 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

CVS Caremark Corp. runs the second-largest chain of drugstores in the United States, after Walgreen Co., and also is one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits managers.

Revenue grew more than 17 percent from its pharmacy benefits management side, as the number of pharmacy network claims processed in the quarter rose 6.5 percent to 205.5 million….”

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