said third-quarter sales and earnings were below expectations, and also warned that receivables it picked up in the June 2002 acquisition of a Gentiva Health unit might not be adequately reserved for.

The pharmacy-services company said that based on the third-quarter shortfall, which it didn't specifically quantify, it now expects to earn $1.20 to $1.25 a share for all of fiscal 2003 on revenue of $1.35 billion to $1.37 billion. It had previously forecast earnings of $1.33 to $1.38 a share on revenue of $1.4 billion to $1.45 billion. Analysts polled by First Call were predicting earnings $1.37 a share on revenue of $1.43 billion.

TST Recommends

The company also said it's "examining the adequacy" of reserves relating to accounts receivable it acquired in the purchase of Gentiva's Specialty Pharmaceutical Services unit. Its auditors and Gentiva's management are also involved in the discussions.

It said the review could result in an adjustment to the transaction's purchase price or a charge against Accredo's 2003 earnings. The above earnings outlook excludes any such impact.

Accredo's shares were recently down 47% to $13.50.