With more than $1B in Q3 profits, Express Scripts confident heading into Cigna merger

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts reported considerable growth in the third quarter of 2018 on Wednesday, with net income exceeding $1.07 billion, a 27.3% increase over the same quarter last year. 

Earnings per share reached $1.90 this past quarter, compared to $1.47 this time last year. In 2019, the company expects to grow core business adjusted claims by 2% to 3%, according to a press release.

The company has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight in recent months as the healthcare industry awaited the Department of Justice’s decision about its acquisition by Cigna. The department ultimately approved the move in September, and Cigna is now getting the green light from state regulatory agencies. On Thursday, Cigna CEO David Cordani said he anticipates the deal to close by the end of this year.

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Express Scripts President and CEO Tim Wentworth said his company’s “momentum is strong.” The deal with Cigna will allow Express Scripts to “offer greater affordability and differentiation” through cost containment, innovation, and improvements in patient care.

Express Scripts has also received attention this year for being the subject of multiple lawsuits. In July, online pharmacy CareZone accused Express Scripts of defamation and anticompetitive practices.

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In September, the PBM was accused of overcharging patients for copies of their records, violating state and federal laws, in a class-action suit. But Wentworth said the company is working “to earn the trust of those we serve,” adding “With trust comes the ability to help even more people achieve better outcomes.”

The company did not hold an earnings call due to the Cigna deal.