has managed to cure a lingering headache.
The giant health care services company will pay $960 million to shareholders who sued the company over a financial restatement nearly six years ago. Together with an increase in litigation reserves, the settlement will lead to a third-quarter charge of $1.2 billion, or $2.70 a share.
Still, the company sounds eager to swallow that expensive medicine and continue on the road to recovery.
"Today's agreement represents a significant step toward fully resolving the uncertainty related to this unfortunate chapter in the company's history and allows us to focus once again only on the future," McKesson CEO John Hammergren said.
McKesson ran into trouble after acquiring a company named HBOC in January 1999. Within months, McKesson announced the discovery of accounting improprieties at the newly purchased company. The board launched an independent investigation and ultimately replaced much of the company's executive management team.
Four former HBOC executives pleaded guilty to wrongdoing, and others still face charges. The company itself was never targeted by government authorities, however.
McKesson's stock, which bottomed out around $15.50 a share in mid-2000, ended down a penny at $31.24 on Wednesday. The company has now indicated that its worst days are behind it.
"Since 2000, McKesson has made tremendous progress improving our operating and financial performance," Hammergren said. Now, "McKesson can again be valued on the performance of our business without the distraction and uncertainty of the consolidated class action."