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Cardinal Health 1Q net income rises 15 percent

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Cardinal Health posted a 15 percent jump in first-quarter net income as sales of low-cost generic drugs rose.

Those sales pushed pharmaceutical profits higher and the company also reported modest growth in revenue from its medical products business. Cardinal raised its quarterly dividend for the second consecutive quarter, boosting the payout to 27.5 cents from 23.75 cents.

Net income rose to $271 million, or 79 cents per share, from $237 million, or 68 cents per share, a year ago. The company earned 81 cents per share if one-time charges are excluded. Revenue fell 3 percent, to $25.89 billion from $26.79 billion.

Analysts were forecasting net income of 79 cents per share and $26.37 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. The company's first quarter ended Sept. 30.

Pharmaceutical revenue fell 4 percent to $23.5 billion because generic drugs cost less than branded versions, though margins can be higher. Profits from the business rose 10 percent.

Medical business revenue rose to $2.39 billion.

Cardinal Health Inc. expects to report net income from continuing operations of $3.35 to $3.50 per share for the current fiscal year. Analysts expect $3.43 per share on average.

Trading of all company shares was suspended Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange because of damage from Hurricane Sandy.