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Caremark Rx Sees $70 Million Charge in Fourth Quarter

Caremark Rx

(CMX)

expects to record a $70 million charge in the fourth quarter because of the recent bankruptcy filing by affiliate

KPC Medical Management

, but said it was "comfortable" with Wall Street's earnings projections for the period.

In August 1999, KPC bought part of Caremark's Southern California physician practice management assets, and Caremark said the majority of the current charge stems from potential future real estate lease obligations that were assumed by KPC in 1999.

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Caremark, Birmingham, Ala., also said it was comfortable with the earnings estimate of 14 cents a share carried by

First Call/Thomson Financial

. Caremark earned 10 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Shares of Caremark closed down 75 cents, or 5.5%, to $12.81 in regular session

New York Stock Exchange

trading.