With shares of health-care products and services provider Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) losing ground to the tune of 6.4% upon the release of its fiscal first-quarter earnings on Monday, shareholders may have lost a short-term battle. Over the long term, however, Cardinal management is confident that weaknesses that surfaced will be adequately addressed in the remainder of the company's fiscal year.

Despite a healthy year-over-year pop of 15% in EPS from operations, much of the focus was shifted to a weak performance by Cardinal's pharmaceutical services segment, which grew its revenue by 4% during the quarter but was hampered by lower-than-expected generic-drug introductions. The company expects the weakness in this segment to persist into its second quarter, but is predicting a much stronger second half in Cardinal's FY2008, as a significant increase in generics is expected to improve the company's margins in the fourth quarter.

Cardinal shares may be a bargain trading near their 52-week low, but a turn in the direction of the stock is going to take some time. Additional positive indicators for shareholders include a repurchase of $600 million worth of common shares during the quarter and the procurement of additional business with its largest customer, CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS).

Cardinal competitors McKesson (NYSE:MCK) and AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) have also remained proactive on the share repurchase front. McKesson bought back $684 million of its common shares in the last six months, while AmerisourceBergen repurchased $1.4 billion in its last fiscal year.

From a macro outlook, Cardinal appears to be in very good standing in terms of generating organic growth from its existing operations. As for the expected turnaround in its pharmaceuticals segment, we'll have to wait to see if this prediction comes to fruition.

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Fool contributor Billy Fisher has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.