Cardinal Health's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Cardinal Health (CAH)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

May 03, 2012 8:30 am ET


Sally Curley -

George S. Barrett - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee

Jeffrey W. Henderson - Chief Financial Officer


Ricky Goldwasser - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Thomas Gallucci - Lazard Capital Markets LLC, Research Division

Jeffrey T. Elliott - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Lawrence C. Marsh - Barclays Capital, Research Division

David Larsen - Leerink Swann LLC, Research Division

Lisa C. Gill - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Robert P. Jones - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

John Kreger - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Steven Valiquette - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Glen J. Santangelo - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Charles Rhyee - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

John W. Ransom - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Cardinal Health, Inc. Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now turn the conference over to your host for today, Ms. Sally Curley, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Ma'am, you may begin.

Sally Curley

Thank you, Ben, and welcome to Cardinal Health's Third Quarter Fiscal 2012 Conference Call today. We will be making forward-looking statements. The matters addressed in the statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied. Please refer to the SEC filings and the forward-looking statements slide at the beginning of the presentation found on the Investor page of our website for a description of risks and uncertainties.

In addition, we will reference non-GAAP financial measures. The information about these measures is included at the end of the slides.

I'd also like to remind you of a few upcoming investment conferences and events, in which we will be webcasting, notably: The 2012 Deutsche Bank 37th Annual Healthcare Conference on May 7 in Boston; the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Healthcare Conference on May 15 in Las Vegas; the Goldman Sachs 33rd Annual Global Healthcare Conference on June 5 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California; and the William Blair 32nd Annual Growth Stock Conference on June 14 in Chicago. The details of these events are -- or will be posted on the IR section of our website at, so please make sure to visit the site often for updated information. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to George Barrett. George?

George S. Barrett

Thanks, Sally. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us on our third quarter call today. I'm pleased to report another solid quarter, and we have now completed 9 months of excellent overall growth and progress in our areas of strategic focus in FY 2012.

Revenue for the third quarter was $26.9 billion, up 3% from the prior year. Non-GAAP operating earnings increased by 6% to $524 million. Our non-GAAP EPS grew 16% to $0.94 from last year's $0.81. Our Pharmaceutical segment delivered 9% profit growth and a revenue gain of 3%. The Medical segment achieved top line growth of 8%, reinforcing our improved positioning in the market, but as we had expected, the segment recorded a year-over-year profit decline of 17%, primarily due to residual commodity cost pressures. The team had shown great focus, offsetting much of its headwind with solid performance in the underlying business.

I'd like to walk you through the performance highlights of these segments. First, Pharmaceutical. Revenue increases came from multiple classes of trade. This growth outpaced the market in virtually every channel. Our focus on creating value for the specific needs of each customer in this dynamic environment remains a top priority. Our customer base remains strong, and the mix continues to evolve along our strategic pathway. Our non-bulk sales were up 7.6% versus prior year.

Profit was fueled by the continued strength of our generic activities and solid performance with our branded partners, whose names continue to evolve in changing markets. Our strong generic results reflect the continued focus in this important industry driver and the impact of new and recently launched products, a number of which launched in the prior quarter.

I want to take a few moments to comment on our nuclear activities, as this part of the industry has been going through some change. We see distinct market dynamics at work from the 2 different nuclear product lines. On the low energy side, our legacy business, demand remains soft. Although we continue to provide market-leading products and the supply of raw materials to us has been reliable, the number of nuclear cardiac procedures is considerably below historical norms.

Part of this can be explained by general economic conditions and part is likely associated with payer and employer policies designed to continue growth in medical procedures. We've been making the necessary modification to our business to adjust to what maybe the new normal from a cardiac-procedure perspective. I should note here that demographics should, in the long-term, generate some upward pressure on demand.

As you know, our activities in the PET area are at a different stage of evolution. We were excited to see the FDA approval of Amyvid and high-energy products used in PET scanning as a diagnostic product for patients being evaluated for Alzheimer's reviews. We have been an innovator in this area, a partner in the development of this product, and we will be an important part of the team as the manufacturer and distributor of Amyvid from our specialized facilities.

From a business-model perspective in nuclear, while I would love to have been able to synchronize the slowing of the legacy low energy business with the growth coming from the new category of diagnostic products, we do recognize that Amyvid is the first product in the category of drugs, and because of this, we'll take some time to position and to build. Nevertheless, we believe that PET, and in particular, this new class of drug builds excellent promise for the future. As a reminder, Amyvid is the first of the over 20 diagnostic products, in which we are actively involved in clinical trial.

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