AmerisourceBergen

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Wednesday offered weak earnings guidance, blaming weak drug pricing in what it called "challenging times."

The Pennsylvania-based drug distributor and wholesaler forecast 2005 EPS from continuing operations of $4.00 to $4.10, down from a previous forecast of $4.20 to $4.30. For the quarter, AmerisourceBergen expects to earn 60 cents to 65 cents a share, based on continuing operations.

The consensus forecasts are for $4.14 and 87 cents a share, respectively, according to Thomson First Call.

In addition, the company continues to expect operating revenue growth in 2005 to be flat, "reflecting the loss of two large customers in fiscal 2004."

Despite the reduced forecast, the company said "the future remains bright, with generic opportunities ahead." AmerisourceBergen said it expects to return to our long-term diluted earnings-per-share growth from continuing operations of 15% in the September 2005 quarter."

Shares closed at $62.01 Tuesday.