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Express Scripts expects to lose biggest customer after 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. tumbled in extended trading Monday after the prescription drug manager said its biggest customer, Anthem, doesn’t plan to extend its contract when it expires 2019.

The St. Louis-based company said Monday that Anthem, which is the nation’s second-largest health insurer, isn’t interested in contract talks even though Express Scripts offered discounts worth up to $1 billion a year.

Express Scripts stock fell $10.11, or 15 percent, to $56.96 in after-hours trading after the company announced the Anthem news along with its first-quarter results. Anthem accounted for about 18 percent of Express Scripts’ first-quarter revenue.

“It is difficult for us to understand why Anthem has not recognized the potential value which could be brought forth by engaging in meaningful discussions regarding a mutually beneficial pricing arrangement for the remaining term of our contract and beyond,” said Tim Wentworth, president and CEO of Express Scripts.

The two companies have been fighting over prescription drug costs for several years, and Anthem even filed a lawsuit against Express Scripts last year over drug prices.

A spokeswoman for Indianapolis-based Anthem declined to comment Monday. Anthem is scheduled to report its earnings on Wednesday.

Express Scripts said its first-quarter earnings increased slightly to $546.3 million, or 90 cents per share. That’s up from $526.1 million, or 81 cents per share, last year.

When non-recurring costs are excluded, Express Scripts said it earned $1.33 per share.

The quarter results topped what 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected of $1.32 per share.

It reported revenue of $24.65 billion. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $25.05 billion.

For the current quarter ending in June, Express Scripts expects its per-share earnings to range from $1.70 to $1.74. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had forecast adjusted earnings per share of $1.69.

The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $6.82 to $7.02 per share.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ESRX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/ESRX

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Keywords: Express Scripts, Earnings Report

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