NEW YORK (CNNfn) - McKesson Corp., the nation's largest distributor of pharmaceuticals, reported a 39.1-percent increase in fiscal second-quarter profit Tuesday, beating analysts' estimates.
In addition, the San Francisco-based drug marketer, which sells to large volume customers such as CVS and Rite Aid, expects growth to accelerate in the second half of fiscal 1999.
"Continued operating margin expansion should drive net income to above 40 percent gains and earnings-per-share growth to more than 30 percent," said Mark A. Pulido, president and chief executive of McKesson.
The news is expected to boost McKesson's stock (MCK), which closed Monday up 1-1/4 at 71-13/16.
In its latest fiscal quarter, net income rose to $55.1 million, or 52 cents a share, from $39.6 million, or 41 cents, in the second quarter of fiscal 1998.
Analysts had a consensus estimate of 50 cents a share, according to First Call.
The profits came in the wake of a 35-percent increase in total revenue to $6.94 billion, with all three major business segments recording double-digit gains.
For the first six months of the fiscal year, net income totaled $103.8 million, or $1.01 a share, on revenue of $12.8 billion.