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Omnicare Swings To 3Q Loss On Charges; Revenue Flat

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Omnicare Inc. (OCR) swung to a third-quarter loss, with adjusted results topping analysts' estimates, as the provider of drugs to nursing homes and assisted-living centers booked more charges than a year earlier and revenue was flat. "During the quarter, prescription volumes increased, driven by growth in the average number of beds served as well as the benefit of one additional calendar day," said Chief Financial Officer John L. Workman. Omnicare's results have fallen of late, hurt by lower selling volumes and fewer beds served. In August, Moody's Investors Service cut its outlook on Omnicare to negative, in the wake of weakened second-quarter results and the sudden departure of the company's chief executive, Joel Gemunder, earlier that month. Moody's said its lowered outlook reflected a declining bed count as well as lower census at nursing homes, among other factors. Omnicare reported a loss of $103.3 million, or 89 cents a share, from a profit of $11.6 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as accounting changes and restructuring charges, earnings from continuing operations fell to 51 cents from 71 cents as revenue was flat at $1.54 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 49 cents on $1.54 billion in revenue. Gross margin edged lower to 22% from 22.1%. Also hurting the bottom line was higher legal and overhead costs. Shares closed at $22.77 Wednesday and were inactive premarket. The stock has fallen 5.8% this year. -By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855; nathan.becker@dowjones.com

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