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posted a second-quarter profit and reaffirmed 2004 guidance Thursday.

For its second quarter ended June 30, the Nashville, Tenn., pharmacy benefit manager earned $139 million, or 30 cents a share. That's up from the year-ago $69 million, or 26 cents a share. Sales more than tripled to $7.3 billion from $2.2 billion a year earlier, boosted by the March acquisition of rival AdvancePCS.

On a pro forma basis, including the results of AdvancePCS in both periods, revenue rose 4% from a year ago.

"We are very pleased that the second quarter results were in line with our expectations and that we are successfully integrating the operations of AdvancePCS," said CEO Mac Crawford. "Our cash flow has been strong, and the board made the decision to authorize the significant increase in share repurchases as an appropriate use of cash while we evaluate other longer-term strategies for capital deployment, and while we continue the integration of AdvancePCS."

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Caremark also reaffirmed its previous earnings per share guidance for 2004. Caremark continues to expect diluted earnings per share, excluding integration and other related expenses, in the range of $1.37 to $1.39 for the year.

The news comes as Caremark and its industry rivals come under increasing regulatory scrutiny. The company's shares slid late Wednesday after rival

Express Scripts


said it might be sued by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Meanwhile, Caremark is the subject of a whistleblower suit that claims the company restocked drugs without checking to make sure they were safe.

Early Thursday, Caremark slid 83 cents to $28.80.