October 24, 2017 / 11:09 PM / in a year

Express Scripts CFO Eric Slusser resigns

(Reuters) - Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O) said on Tuesday James Havel would succeed Eric Slusser as the chief financial officer, effective Oct. 25, and the pharmacy benefit manager aimed to retain more customers in 2018.

The company, whose third-quarter revenue missed estimates, raised its customer retention rate forecast above 95 percent.

“Express Scripts has never been a revenue growth story. It’s about signing up profitable business,” Maxim Group analyst Anthony Vendetti said.

The pharmacy benefit manager’s efforts to retain customers comes a week after its biggest client and health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) ended a 10-year contract with the company to launch its own pharmacy business.

Anthem, which accounted for about 19 percent of Express Scripts’ total revenue in the second quarter, sued the pharmacy benefit manager in 2016 over claims of being overcharged by $3 billion (2.28 billion pounds) annually.

Earlier this month, Express Scripts said it would buy specialty healthcare benefits manager eviCore healthcare for $3.6 billion to bolster its medical benefits management business.

Pharma supply chain, including pharmacy benefit managers, have been exposed to increased competition amid intense scrutiny over soaring drug prices and the rumored entry of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) into the prescription drug market.

Express Scripts’ net profit rose to $841.7 million, or $1.46 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Excluding items, the company earned $1.90 per share, in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The pharmacy benefit manager’s revenue fell about 3 percent to $24.68 billion, below the analyst average estimate of $25.64 billion.

The company increased the lower end of its full-year adjusted earnings per share forecast by 2 cents to $6.97 and kept the higher end unchanged at $7.05.

Express Scripts’ shares were marginally down in after-market trading.

Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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