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Published: Thursday, 5/3/2012

Cardinal Health fiscal 3rd-quarter profit jumps 36 percent

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health Inc.'s fiscal third-quarter net income soared 36 percent, fueled by pharmaceutical segment growth, and the health care products distributor raised the low end of its 2012 earnings forecast.

The Dublin, Ohio, company said Thursday it earned $333.4 million, or 95 cents per share, in the three-month period. That compared to earnings of $246 million, or 70 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Adjusted earnings were 94 cents per share, while revenue climbed 3 percent to $26.92 billion.

The performance topped Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected, on average, earnings of 88 cents per share on $26.77 billion in revenue.

The announcement came a day after Cardinal said it raised its quarterly dividend 10.5 percent to 23.75 cents per share from 21.5 cents. The dividend will be payable July 15 to shareholders of record on July 1.

Cardinal distributes pharmaceuticals and medical products and makes products like gloves and surgical apparel. The company said revenue from its largest business, the pharmaceutical segment, climbed 3 percent to $24.5 billion in the quarter. The segment's profit rose 9 percent to $446 million due to recently launched products and its generic program.

Commodity price hikes and increased information system expenses helped sink the company's medical segment profit 17 percent to $89 million. But Cardinal said in a statement it expects the commodity impact to subside heading into its fourth quarter and the new fiscal year.

The company said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to range between $3.15 and $3.20 per share after forecasting in February a range of $3.10 to $3.20 per share. Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $3.18 per share.



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