Catamaran climbs after pharmacy benefits manager tops quarterly expectations, announces deal

Shares of Catamaran jumped Thursday before markets opened and after the pharmacy benefits manager announced a $405 million acquisition and quarterly results that trumped analyst expectations.

The Schaumburg, Illinois, company said it will spend cash to buy fellow pharmacy benefits manager Healthcare Solutions in a push to expand its presence in the workers' compensation market.

Catamaran Corp. expects the deal to give it a complementary business platform and a new market of insurers and benefits administrators for its products.

The companies aim to close the acquisition in the second quarter, and Catamaran will then take a year to 18 months to integrate Healthcare Solutions into its business.

Catamaran already has a solid workers' compensation platform, and this acquisition will add to its core business, BMO Capital Markets analyst Jennifer Lynch said in a research note.

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, among other duties.

Catamaran also said Thursday that its earnings jumped 35 percent to $100.4 million in the fourth quarter. Adjusted results totaled 67 cents per share.

That trumped average analyst expectations of 61 cents per share, according to the data firm FactSet.

Shares of Catamaran were up nearly 10 percent, or $5.22, to $58 less than an hour before markets opened.