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Omnicare Swings To 4Q Loss On Charges; Issues Weak Fiscal-Year Outlook

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Omnicare Inc. (OCR) swung to a fourth-quarter loss on a litigation settlement charge and other expenses, although results excluding those items met Wall Street's expectations. The company projected full-year earnings from continuing operations of $2.05 to $2.15 a share on revenue of $6 billion to $6.1 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected $2.2 a share and $6.28 billion in revenue. The provider of drugs to nursing homes and assisted-living centers struggled with falling earnings in the second and third quarters and the unsealing of a lawsuit alleging the company defrauded government health programs by submitting false claims. The company said those allegations were "without merit." In August, Moody's Investors Service cut its outlook on Omnicare to negative in the wake of the sudden departure of the company's then-chief executive, Joel Gemunder, earlier that month. The company in December named McKesson Corp. (MCK) pharmaceutical unit president John Figueroa to the post. Omnicare reported a fourth-quarter loss of $65.3 million, or 57 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $79.8 million, or 68 cents a share. Excluding litigation settlement charges and other effects, adjusted earnings from continuing operations fell to 51 cents a share from 74 cents. Revenue rose 1.2% to $1.56 billion. Analysts expected per-share earnings of 51 cents a share on revenue of $1.56 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 22% from 23.9%. Omnicare shares closed at $25.91 Wednesday and weren't active premarket. -By Drew FitzGerald and John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com;

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