Shares of Cardinal Health Inc. CAH, +2.13% rallied 2.9% in premarket trade Thursday after the healthcare services company reported fiscal first-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations, boosted by strength in its pharmaceuticals business. Net income rose to $593 million, or $1.94 a share, from $115 million, or 36 cents a share, in the same period a year ago, with the naviHealth divestiture resulting in a gain of $503 million. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.29, above the FactSet consensus of $1.08. Revenue increased 8% to $35.2 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $33.7 billion. Pharmaceutical segment revenue grew 9% to $31.4 billion, well above the FactSet consensus of $29.8 billion. The company affirmed its 2019 adjusted EPS outlook of $4.90 to $5.15, which surrounds the FactSet consensus of $4.99. The stock has rallied 9.6% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF XLV, +2.94% has gained 3.4% and the S&P 500 SPX, +2.12% has slipped 1.5%.
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