August 1, 2012 / 5:54 PM / 6 years ago

Canada's Catamaran on the prowl again

(Reuters) - Catamaran Corp CCT.TO CTRX.O, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) formerly known as SXC Health Solutions, said acquisitions have helped expand its customer base and that it could look for more targets in the near term.

The company has bought rival Catalyst Health Solutions for $4.4 billion and PBM services company HealthTran LLC for $250 million in the last year, boosting its sales and prompting it to raise its revenue forecast for 2012.

“There is no reason at all why we can’t be in the market in the near term with acquisitions that have low integration risk,” Catamaran’s Chief Executive Mark Thierer said on a conference call.

The company, valued at $8.70 billion, had cash and cash equivalents of $798.9 million as of June 30.

PBMs help cut the cost of medicines by encouraging more use of generic drugs, and the sector’s importance has grown since the new U.S. healthcare law highlighted the need to reduce costs.

President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, which represented the U.S. healthcare system’s biggest overhaul in nearly 50 years, aims to expand health coverage to 16 million Americans.

“Assuming everything goes through, the opportunity is for more uninsured Americans to get coverage, which means more prescriptions running through healthcare systems. This means more business for all the PBMs in general,” Paradigm Capital analyst Gabriel Leung said.

This has helped push up Catamaran shares 50 percent this year. They rose 3 percent to C$87.75 in afternoon trading on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Catamaran raised its full-year sales forecast to a range of $9.9 billion to $10 billion, from its earlier forecast of between $6.8 billion and $6.9 billion to account for the closing of the Catalyst deal.

The company, however, cut its adjusted profit expectation to between $2.14 and $2.17 per share, from between $2.37 and $2.45, as it issued about 33.4 million shares as part of the Catalyst deal.

Second-quarter net income rose 27 percent to $27.3 million, or 41 cents per share. Adjusted profit of 49 cents came in below analysts’ expectation of 52 cents.

Revenue rose 40 percent to $1.7 billion, matching analysts’ expectations.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane and Sriraj Kalluvila

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