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Express Scripts Net Income Tops $1B, EPS Up 28%

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   October 31, 2018

The St. Louis-based insurer performed well in key areas during Q3 as it nears the final stages of its merger with Cigna.

In its first earnings report since receiving federal approval for its proposed megamerger with Cigna, Express Scripts Holding Co. netted over $1 billion in net income according to its earnings report released Wednesday afternoon.

For the second straight quarter, Express Scripts produced a 28% year-over-year increase in its adjusted earnings per diluted share (EPS), reaching $2.43 in Q3. The insurer's total revenues were $25.5 billion, up nearly $1 billion compared to Q3 2017. Similarly, Express Scripts recorded a gross profit of $2.3 billion, up more than $100 million year-over-year. 

Since announcing a proposed $52 billion megamerger with Cigna in March, Express Scripts' financial and strategic performance has been analyzed in relation to how it factors into the deal, which company leadership addressed as part of the Q3 earnings report.

C-Suite Perspective:

"As we look ahead to our planned combination with Cigna, we will offer greater affordability and differentiation through our relentless focus on patient care, cost containment and continuous innovation while delivering quality health outcomes for our patients and clients," Tim Wentworth, CEO of Express Scripts, said in a statement.

Related: Cigna–Express Scripts Merger Clears DOJ Antitrust Review

Related: Cigna, Express Scripts Shareholders Approve $52B Merger

Following Express Scripts' lead, Cigna will produce its Q3 earnings report Thursday morning before the stock market opens, just as it did in Q2.

And as first announced in Q2, Express Scripts has suspended its share repurchase program in light of the pending merger agreement, which is still scheduled to close by the end of the year. 


  • Adjusted claims decreased by 2.2% in Q3, as Express Scripts handled 334.6 million cases.
  • Net cash flow provided by operating activities fell dramatically, decreasing 60% to a total of $759.4 million.
  • Express Scripts recorded an adjusted EBITDA above $2 billion, up 4.6% year-over-year in Q3.

For complete financial information, review Express Scripts' filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Related: States Signing Off on Cigna–Express Scripts Deal: 14 Down, 15 To Go

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


Express Scripts achieved revenues of more than $25 billion in Q3, up 5.3% year-over-year.

Net income exceeded $1 billion ahead of the Cigna merger expected by the end of the year.

CEO Tim Wentworth said the company plans on offering "affordability and differentiation" to finish the year strong.

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