Why PharMerica Shares Soared

PharMerica issues its preliminary 2014 guidance and investors cheer. Is there still room for shares to move higher or should investors head for the exits?

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:00AM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of PharMerica (NYSE:PMC), a pharmacy services company that delivers prescription and nonprescription medication to health care facilities, hospitals, and patients outside of hospitals, jumped as much as 24% after the company issued preliminary 2014 guidance and announced the acquisition of privately held BGS Pharmacy Partners.

So what: PharMerica said it anticipates earning from $1.35-$1.50 per share in adjusted earnings per share in 2014 on revenue of $1.67 billion-$1.72 billion. By comparison, Wall Street estimates had called for $1.47 in EPS on just $1.52 billion in revenue. PharMerica outlined its two-pronged approach  in its guidance which encompasses a restructuring effort designed to realize $50 million in annual cost savings, which should be implemented by the first half of 2014, as well as targeting acquisitions that will generate $100 million or more in sales on an annualized basis in 2014 and 2015. The BGS Pharmacy Partners acquisition, for example, will be immediately accretive to PharMerica's bottom line.

Now what: Wall Street may be surprised , but I'm certainly not. The implementation of Obamacare and an expected surge in preventive visits is more than likely going to drive up the need by hospitals and clinics to order medication, providing an instant boost to PharMerica's business. On the flip side, uncertainties surrounding Obamacare have practically all health care companies tightening their belts a bit, and PharMerica's cost-reduction initiatives should handily boost EPS. PharMerica projections for flat year-over-year revenue growth aren't much to look at now, but take into account that it's also topped Wall Street's EPS estimates by double-digits in percentage terms in four straight quarters. I believe this is a name I'd suggest you add to your watchlist and keep an eye on with regard to future top-line growth.

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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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