Cardinal Health Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Slides

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE:CAH) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Cardinal Health, Inc. offers products and services that improve the safety and productivity of healthcare providers.

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Cardinal Health Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the drug wholesaler fell to $202.7 million (57 cents per share) vs. $223.5 million (61 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 9.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 9.4% to $26.76 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: CAH reported adjusted net income of 59 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 58 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $26.13 billion.

Quoting Management: “Fiscal 2011 was an outstanding year for us. Our organization executed against our key operational and financial objectives and took action on a number of important strategic priorities which will strengthen our long-term positioning,” said George Barrett, chairman and chief executive officer of Cardinal Health. “Our Pharmaceutical Segment finished the year with another excellent quarter, recording 30 percent profit growth over the prior year, which reflects strong growth from strengthened generic programs and solid contribution from the acquisitions we completed earlier in the fiscal year. And although commodity costs and sluggish utilization continued to challenge our Medical Segment, we are taking actions to mitigate their impact. The underlying performance of the business is strong, and the strategic initiatives we implemented this year position us to best serve our customers’ evolving needs.”

Key Stats:

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 6 cents in the third quarter, by 8 cents in the second quarter, and by 11 cents in the first quarter.

Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. In the third quarter, revenue rose 7.1% to $26.07 billion while the figure rose 1.8% in the second quarter from the year earlier.

Gross margins grew 0.2 percentage point to 3.9%. The growth seemed to be driven by increased revenue, as the figure rose 9.4% from the year earlier quarter while costs rose 9.2%.

Competitors to Watch: AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC), McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK), Integra LifeSciences Hldgs. Corp. (NASDAQ:IART), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX), Covidien plc (NYSE:COV), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), and Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE:OMI).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)