Express Scripts Locked in Contract Dispute with Wellpoint

Shares of Express Scripts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) fell 4% in after-hours trading after the pharmacy-benefits manager disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it is in the midst of a contract dispute with WellPoint.

Express Scripts disclosed that the dispute, which was raised by WellPoint, is regarding the “contractual interpretation of certain terms” of the pharmacy benefits management agreement between the two companies, as well as “certain operational matters” related to the company’s performance under the agreement.

The company warned that WellPoint had suggested the dispute could require legal action in order to come to a resolution.  Express Scripts noted that it does not expect the issue to have a “material adverse effect” on its finances or business, but conceded there “can be no assurance in this regard.”

Express Scripts shares fell 90 cents, or 2%, in Tuesday’s regular session, closing at $44.40 a share.  The stock was down $1.65, or 3.7%, in electronic trading after the market closed.