ST. LOUIS – Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. traded higher in extended trading Monday after the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
Express Scripts earned $581.8 million, or 79 cents per share, compared with $501.9 million, or 63 cents per share. Excluding costs related to the company's 2012 purchase of Medco Health Solutions, Express Scripts said its income totaled $1.39 per share. Revenue improved to $26.31 billion, and the company said it filled 337 million adjusted prescriptions in the fourth quarter.
Analysts expected the St. Louis-based company to report a profit of $1.38 per share on $25.66 billion in revenue, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Shares of Express Scripts gained $1.89, or 2.2 percent, to $88.61 in after-hours trading.
Express Scripts forecast a profit of $1.07 to $1.11 for the first quarter and between $5.35 and $5.49 per share for 2015. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast a quarterly profit of $1.16 per share and an annual profit of $5.45 per share, on average.
Express Scripts filled 1.31 billion adjusted prescriptions in 2014 and says it should fill between 1.28 billion and 1.32 billion claims this year. The company's contract with UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest health insurer in the U.S., concluded at the end of 2013.
Express Scripts shares edged up to $86.72 Monday and have risen 2.4 percent in 2015. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 2.5 percent over the same period. In the last 12 months Express Scripts shares are up 17 percent.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ESRX at http://www.zacks.com/ap/ESRX
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