Express Scripts Misses Profit Estimate as Forecast Cut

Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX), a pharmacy benefit manager that handles more than 1 billion prescriptions a year, reported first-quarter earnings that missed its expectation on cold weather and fewer Obamacare enrollees. The company cut its 2014 forecast.

Net income fell to $328.3 million, or 42 cents a share, from $373 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier, the St. Louis, Missouri-based company said in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items of 99 cents a share missed the $1.01 average of 24 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The earnings were lower than forecast because of a decrease in prescription drug volume during the quarter’s severe winter weather, later-than-expected enrollment in public health-care exchanges and fewer new patients, the company said. It reduced its 2014 earnings forecast to $4.82 to $4.94 a share, excluding one-time items, from $4.88 to $5.00 a share.

Express Scripts declined 4.8 percent to $67.61 in extended trading at 4:36 p.m. New York time after closing at $71.01. The shares have gained 21 percent in the past 12 months.

The company manages drug benefits for insurers, employers and government health plans and sell medicines through its mail-order pharmacy, servicing as a middlemen between patients and drugmakers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at mcortez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net Andrew Pollack

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.