NEWS: Cardinal Health Inc. trumped expectations for its fiscal first quarter with a 25 percent profit jump, and the prescription drug distributor hiked its earnings forecast for the year.
DETAILS: The Dublin, Ohio, company said Thursday its provision for income taxes dropped 39 percent in the quarter to $102 million. That helped counter a revenue decline due in part to the expiration of a contract with Express Scripts Holding Co.
NUMBERS: Cardinal earned $339 million, or 99 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares with earnings of $271 million, or 79 cents per share, last year. Adjusted earnings totaled $1.10 per share.
Revenue fell more than 5 percent to $24.52 billion.
Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 86 cents per share on $22.78 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
FUTURE: Cardinal now expects fiscal 2014 earnings to range between $3.62 and $3.72 per share. That's up from its forecast in August for earnings of $3.45 to $3.60 per share and above average analyst expectations for $3.58 per share.
STOCK: Up 2.4 percent, or $1.32, or 2.4 percent, to $57 in pre-market trading. If the gains hold when regular trading begins, that price would represent an all-time high, topping the previous mark of $56.78 set Oct. 18, according to FactSet.