Cardinal Health shares climb on earnings jump

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Shares of Cardinal Health ended trading higher by more than 6% after the drug distributor reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded analyst views, thanks to repricing of large retail accounts and the renewal of anti-diversion efforts.

Shares of Cardinal Health ended trading higher by more than 6% after the drug distributor reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded analyst views, thanks to repricing of large retail accounts and the renewal of anti-diversion efforts.

Cardinal Health  reported net income of $356 million, or 99 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $19 million, or 5 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. The Dublin, Ohio-based company said sales were $22.9 billion vs. last year's $21.9 billion.

Cardinal Health was expected to report earnings of $1.01 a share on sales of $23.4 billion, according to analysts polled by FactSet Research.

While the company's sales fell short of the consensus estimate, its earnings surprise was enough to boost shares $3.16 to $55.23 at the close.

Cardinal Health reaffirmed its full-year adjusted earnings view of $3.75 to $3.85 a share. The FactSet estimate calls for the company to earn $3.79 a share.