Cardinal Health Inc. shares declined 3% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company reported fourth quarter profit and revenue beats but issued downbeat 2018 guidance. Earnings for the latest quarter declined to $274 million, or 86 cents per share, from $333 million, or $1.02 per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings-per-share were $1.31, above the FactSet consensus of $1.24. Revenue rose to $33.0 billion from $31.4 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $32.7 billion. The latest results included growth in the company's pharmaceutical distribution customers and profit decreases for its pharmaceutical segment due to generic drug prices, the company said. Cardinal Health expects adjusted EPS of $4.85 to $5.10 for fiscal 2018, below the FactSet consensus of $5.25. The company said on Wednesday that it had previously signaled that 2018 EPS would be down but that the company is "taking some discrete actions, which will affect our EPS in FY18 and improve our trajectory for 2019 and beyond," according to Chief Executive George Barrett. In April, Cardinal Health said that 2018 outlook would reflect generic deflation and "several company-specific discrete items" that could result in a profit decline for the company's pharmaceutical business. Cardinal Health shares have risen 6% over the last three months, compared with a 3.6% rise in the S&P 500 .
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