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Cardinal Health

(CAH) - Get Cardinal Health, Inc. Report

surpassed Wall Street's expectations by a penny on strong performances in two-of-its-three businesses, pharmaceutical distribution and medical-surgical products.

The second-largest wholesaler in the U.S. of pharmaceuticals and health care-related supplies, behind

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get McKesson Corporation Report

, said the third quarter ended March 31, earnings rose 24% to $199 million, or 70 cents a diluted share, from $161 million, or 56 cents a share a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

was 69 cents.

Including $9 million in after-tax costs for Dublin, Cardinal's merger with

Automatic Liquid Packaging

in September 1999, earnings totaled $190 million, or 67 cents a share.

Revenue rose 14% to $6.4 billion from $5.6 billion a year ago. Sales in the pharmaceutical distribution segment rose 20% to $4.7 billion, contributing 74% of the company's revenue, and sales in the medical-surgical products segment grew 5% to $1.2 billion, contributing 19%. Meanwhile, sales in the pharmaceutical services segment grew 3% to $585 million, contributing 9% of the company's total revenue.

Subsidiaries of Cardinal include:

Allegiance

, a supplier of surgical apparel and lab products;

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Medicine Shoppe

, a franchiser of old-style apothecaries;

Owen Healthcare

, a pharmacy management services administrator and

R.P. Scherer

, a manufacturer of gelcaps.

Last week, Cardinal

established a business-to-business Internet procurement exchange, along with

AmeriSource Health

(AAS)

,

Fisher Scientific International

(FSH)

, McKesson HBOC and

Owens & Minor

(OMI) - Get Owens & Minor, Inc. Report

.

Shares of Ohio-based Cardinal were up 2 1/16, or 4%, to 55 in Tuesday afternoon trading. (Cardinal closed up 2 3/8, or 4%, at 55 5/16.)