LabCorp 3Q profit climbs 10 pct, forecast narrows

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Laboratory Corp. of America posted a 10 percent rise in third-quarter earnings compared with last year during the same period, when the clinical lab was weighed down by the cost of several acquisitions.

The Burlington, N.C., company also narrowed its profit forecast for 2012.

For the third quarter, LabCorp earned $148 million, or $1.53 per share. That compares to earnings of $134.3 million, or $1.31 per share, in last year's quarter. Revenue inched up 1 percent to $1.42 billion.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings recorded restructuring and other special charges totaling $4.8 million in this year's quarter. Excluding those, the company reported adjusted earnings of $1.76 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of $1.73 per share on $1.44 billion in revenue.

Testing volume rose 1.4 percent over the three months of the quarter, while revenue per requisition fell slightly.

LabCorp also said it recorded $9 million in fees and expenses tied to its acquisition of Medtox Scientific Inc. LabCorp said in June it would buy Medtox, a forensic and clinical laboratory headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., in a deal valued at about $241 million.

The company now expects 2012 earnings to range between $6.88 and $6.93 per share. That compares to its forecast in July for earnings of $6.80 to $7.

LabCorp also expects revenue to grow about 2.5 percent, which falls in the middle of its previously expected range of 2 percent to 3 percent. That new forecast implies revenue of about $5.68 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of $6.90 per share on $5.69 billion in revenue.