UPDATE 2-Catamaran raises profit forecast on Catalyst buy

Thu Nov 1, 2012 2:41pm EDT
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* Now sees full-year adjusted profit of $1.09-$1.13/share

* Signs 3-year PBM contract with Target

* Q3 adj EPS $0.25 vs $0.22 year earlier

* Catamaran shares rose as much as 9 pct

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp raised its earnings forecast for the year betting that it will benefit from the U.S. healthcare reform through its $4.4 billion acquisition of rival Catalyst Health Solutions.

Catamaran, formerly known as SXC Health Solutions, said third-quarter revenue more than doubled to $3.2 billion as it added new customers and integrated the existing customers of Catalyst and HealthTran LLC, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) it bought earlier this year.

Catamaran shares rose 9 percent to C$51.18 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, pushing the benchmark S&P/TSX composite index higher on Thursday. Catamaran shares have risen 64 percent so far this year.

PBMs administer health plans and drug benefits for employers and run mail-order pharmacies. They help cut costs of medication by encouraging more use of generic drugs.

The PBM sector is expected to gain from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s is expected to provide health insurance for an additional 30 million people.   Continued...