McKesson sees big fiscal Q2 profits, rise in stocks
McKesson Corp. yesterday reported that it has seen Q2 fiscal year profits of $21.6 billion, an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. Net income for the quarter was $167 million, compared to $86 million in Q2 a year ago, the company said.

Second quarter net income from continuing operations was $154 million or 49 cents per fully diluted share. The company's second quarter net income includes an after-tax gain of $13 million or four cents per share for the sale of the McKesson BioServices business unit, which is a discontinued operation.

"Our significant improvement in operating profit and earnings per share from a year ago was due to an outstanding performance in Pharmaceutical Solutions," said John H. Hammergren, chairman and CEO, in a release. "Pharmaceutical Solutions operating profit increased 69 percent, reflecting our continued focus on expanding our operating margin, the progress we have made evolving our relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers and continued growth in our generics programs. We also had another excellent quarter in Provider Technologies."

In responses, investors have shown confidence in McKesson and stocks have gone up 45 percent this year, the Associated Press has reported.

McKesson released its latest results after the stock market closed Tuesday. The company's shares ended up climbing to $3.29, or 7.2 percent, during extended trading.

According to reports, the improvements were largely due to increased demand for generic drugs. Sales of generic drugs have increased for McKesson by 22 percent during the first half of its current fiscal year, a trend many believe will continue next year as patent protections expire on even more brand-name drugs, McKesson Chairman John Hammergren said in a statement.

"We believe McKesson is now the largest buyer of generic drugs in the United States," added Hammergren to analysts.

Through the first half of its fiscal year, McKesson saw $338 million earnings from revenue totaling $42.7 billion. During that same period last year, McKesson posted net income of $250 million from a total revenue of $39.1 billion.