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AdvancePCS 3rd-Quarter Earnings Up

January 29, 2003

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Pharmacy-benefit manager AdvancePCS posted a 64 percent jump in profit for its latest quarter amid growth in claims volume, particularly in its mail-service pharmacy operations. The company also boosted its fiscal full-year earnings forecast.

Late Tuesday, the Irving-based company said it earned $45 million, or 46 cents a share, on revenue of $4.11 billion in its fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 31. In the same period the previous year, it had earnings $27.3 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $3.37 billion a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 44 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Mail claims rose by more than 50 percent, while retail claims increased by more than 10 percent, AdvancePCS said.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, AdvancePCS now projects earnings, excluding items, of $1.71 to $1.72 a share. In October, the company raised its fiscal 2003 forecast to between $1.67 and $1.69 a share from an earlier estimate of $1.57 a share.

Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.68 a share, according to First Call.

In addition, AdvancePCS also expects fiscal 2004 earnings of $2.05 to $2.13 a share. Analysts are projecting earnings of $2.05 a share in fiscal 2004, according to First Call.

For fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, AdvancePCS earned $1.23 a share on revenue of $12.11 billion.

Shares of AdvancePCS traded Wednesday morning at $28.53, up 43 cent, or 2 percent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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