August 6, 2018 / 11:29 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Drug distributor Cardinal's profit beats on pharma unit strength

(Adds details on quarter, background on Cordis unit)

Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. drug distributor Cardinal Health Inc beat analyst estimates for adjusted fourth-quarter profit on Monday, supported by higher sales in its pharmaceutical and medical devices businesses.

The company has been plagued with issues at its Cordis medical device unit, which it bought for $1.9 billion in 2015 from Johnson & Johnson. The company had missed quarterly profit expectations in May due to inventory and cost issues at the unit.

Cardinal reported a fourth-quarter loss compared to a year-ago profit, as it took an asset-impairment charge of $1.35 billion primarily related to the unit’s performance.

The company also issued forecast for fiscal year 2019 and said it expects adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $4.90 to $5.15 per share.

Net loss attributable to the company was $1.17 billion, or $3.76 per share, in the fourth quarter ended June 30, compared to a profit of $274 million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.01 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 93 cents, as per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 7.2 percent to $35.35 billion. (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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