Updated from 10:08 a.m. EDT
fell to a new 52-week low on Wednesday after the company reported earnings that missed Wall Street's expectations by 7 cents.
McKesson, the top wholesaler of pharmaceuticals and health care supplies in the U.S., blamed some of the shortfall on uncertainty in the health care information systems business.
The stock was down 1 3/16, or 6%, to 17 3/4 in Wednesday midday trading. (McKesson closed down 2 1/16, or 11%, at 16 7/8.)
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, net income fell to $61.4 million, or 22 cents a diluted share, before special items, from $127.1 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
was 29 cents.
Including special items, the San Francisco-based company reported net income of $427.5 million, or $1.52 a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $61.2 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier.
One-time adjustments for the quarter included a $515.9 million after-tax gain on the sale of the company's water products business to French foodmaker
. Previously, McKesson was the No. 3 bottled-water supplier in the U.S. With the sale, the company is now entirely focused on health care.
Also included in one-time adjustments are $149.6 million in after-tax special charges for asset writedowns, reserves and expenses for the repositioning of the company's information technology business unit product line. Last year's quarter included special charges of $189.2 million after taxes for acquisitions including McKesson's
HBO & Co.
Revenue rose to $9.3 billion from $8.3 billion a year ago.
Most worrisome to Seth Teich, an analyst with
First Union Securities
, are the struggles in McKesson's core health care supply management business. "Margins continued to decline below my expectations," Teich said. He projected that operating margins for the unit would come in at 2.58% of revenue. The company actually reported operating margins of 2.12%, but about 30 basis points of that came from increased provisions for bad debt and inventory adjustments.
Teich rates McKesson a hold and his firm has done no recent equity underwriting for the company.
John Hammergren and David Mahoney, co-presidents and co-chief executives, called the results disappointing in a statement and said "continuing market uncertainties, such as the timing and magnitude of recovery in health care software sales, make it difficult to predict overall financial results in the near term."
"For the last year, this company has been in a situation which needs to be turned around," Teich said. "The visibility of that turnaround is just as unclear today as it was yesterday. It didn't get any better with this earnings report."