Express Scripts Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Express Scripts, Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit management (AMEX:PBM) company, providing services like retail network pharmacy management and patient care contact centers to its clients in North America.

Express Scripts, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 85 cents per share, a rise of 19.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 87 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 85 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 20% versus last year to $3.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported profit of 79 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 78 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of 71 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $11.6 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 2.7% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $45.62 billion for the year, a rise of 1.4% from last year’s revenue of $44.97 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are optimistic about this stock, with 18 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and three rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 7.7% to $324.7 million (66 cents a share) from $301.5 million (56 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 2.8% to $11.57 billion from $11.25 billion.

Key Stats:

The company’s net income rise has increased in each of the last three quarters. Net income rose 15.3% in the second quarter and 25.5% in the first quarter.

The company has seen increasing revenue for two quarters in a row. In the second quarter, the figure rose 0.6%.

Stock Price Performance: Between December 19, 2011 and February 16, 2012, the stock price had risen $9.47 (22%), from $43.12 to $52.59. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 28, 2011 and January 9, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 13.7% (+$6) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 7, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 5.7% (-$3.11) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at