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updated: 8/1/2013 9:05 AM

Acquisition helps Lisle's Catamaran 2Q profit soar

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Associated Press

Lisle-based Catamaran Corp. said Thursday that its second-quarter earnings more than doubled after the pharmacy benefits manager completed a major acquisition last year.

The company also said it had raised its earnings forecast for 2013 and completed another acquisition.

Its shares rose more than 3 percent in morning trading.

Catamaran, formerly known as SXC Health Solutions, purchased fellow pharmacy benefits manager Catalyst Health Solutions last year in a cash-and-stock deal valued at more than $4 billion. The companies completed that deal shortly after the 2012 second quarter ended, and the combined business then announced the new name.

In this year's second quarter, Catamaran had net income of $63.4 million, or 31 cents per share, up from $27.3 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago. Its adjusted earnings totaled 49 cents per share.

Revenue doubled to $3.42 billion from $1.7 billion a year ago.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 44 cents per share on $3.47 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, run prescription drug plans for employers, government agencies and other clients, using their large purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices. They make money by reducing costs for health plan sponsors and members. Catamaran also provides health care information technology services.

Catamaran said the addition of Catalyst, as well as new clients, helped both its top and bottom lines soar in this year's quarter. Its PBM revenue jumped to $3.38 billion from $1.66 billion.

That deal also contributed to a 54 percent spike in selling, general and administrative costs for Catamaran. That expense grew to $99.9 million from $64.7 million.

Catamaran now expects full-year adjusted earnings to range between $1.87 and $1.92 per share. That's up from its forecast in May for earnings of between $1.81 and $1.88 per share.

The company still forecasts revenue to fall between $14.2 billion and $14.6 billion.

Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $1.84 per share on $14.25 billion in revenue.

Catamaran also said Thursday it plans to buy the privately held PBM Restat LLC for $409.5 million in a cash deal it aims to close in the fourth quarter, when it expects to incur about $10 million in costs tied to the deal.

The company's stock rose $1.80, or 3.4 percent, to $54.60 in premarket trading 90 minutes ahead of the market opening. Its shares have traded between $42.08 and $58.18 over the past year.

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