Express Scripts Stock Gains After Profit Outlook

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. rose 1.1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the pharmacy benefit management company affirmed its profit outlook, while raising its claims estimate due to a change in methodology in how they are reported. The company still expects adjusted 2016 earnings per share of $6.36 to $6.42, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $6.39, and now expects 2017 adjusted EPS of $6.82 to $7.02, compared with expectations of $6.93. The 2016 net EPS outlook was raised to $5.28 to $5.34 from $4.47 to $4.53 because of a discrete tax benefit of 81 cents a share related to the disposition of PolyMedica Corp. The company said non-specialty network claims through its 90-day network programs will now be multiplied by three, as these claims tend to cover a time period three times longer than other network claims. As a result, it raised its 2016 total adjusted claims outlook to 1,400 million to 1,415 million from 1,265 million to 1,280 million. The stock has tumbled 16% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.

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