“ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mail-order and online druggist Express Scripts said on Monday its earnings jumped almost 74 percent as more people used generic drugs and it continued to absorb Medco Health Solutions.
Express Scripts Holding Co. acquired Medco last April, making it the largest pharmacy benefits manager by far. It now manages more than a billion prescriptions every year.
The company’s outlook for this year also topped Wall Street expectations.
Express Scripts earned $504.1 million, or 61 cents per share, in its fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Its adjusted earnings were $1.05 per share, slightly better than the $1.02 per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue more than doubled to $27.41 billion. Analysts predicted $27 billion.
In the fourth quarter a year ago, it earned $290.4 million, or 59 cents per share. Revenue was $12.1 billion.
The company’s $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco made it big enough to handle the prescriptions of more than one in three Americans. Revenue and prescription counts have swelled. In the most recent quarter, the number of claims it handled more than doubled to almost 411 million.
Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, run prescription drug plans for employers, insurers and other customers. They process mail-order prescriptions and handle bills for prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies. They also negotiate lower drug prices and make money by reducing costs for health plan sponsors and members….”Comments »