Priority Healthcare Announces Record Results FOR 1st Quarter - Earnings Increase 29%

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Priority Healthcare Corporation

    LAKE MARY, Fla., April 19 /PRNewswire/ --
 Priority Healthcare Corporation (Nasdaq:   PHCC) reported record results for the
 first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  Net earnings increased 29% to $8.7
 million from $6.8 million.   Sales increased 23% to $168 million from $137
 million.  Earnings per share advanced 25% to $.20 from $.16.
     "We are very pleased to report the strong results for the first quarter,"
 said Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Myers.  "For the
 quarter, gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 40 basis points to
 12.8% from 12.4% in the prior year.  This increase in gross profit percentage
 resulted predominantly from a shift in mix driven by pharmacy sales becoming a
 greater percentage of total sales.  The increase in selling, general and
 administrative expenses as a percentage of sales to 5.3% from last year's 5.0%
 represents the increased cost associated with the more clinically oriented
 pharmacy business.  The resulting earnings from operations as a percentage of
 sales for the quarter of 7.2% is a 10 basis point increase from 7.1% in the
 prior year."
     Mr. Myers continued, "At the beginning of April we announced the
 acquisition of Physicians Formulary, a national distributor of
 biopharmaceuticals, based in Phoenix.  This acquisition, coupled with the
 January purchase of Freedom Drug, the nation's leading infertility specialty
 pharmacy, provides Priority Healthcare with two outstanding opportunities.
 Additionally, the two initiatives we announced in the first quarter with
 Medtronic and Aventis Behring move the company into the new markets of pain
 management and hemophilia and validate our position as the partner of choice
 in Disease Treatment Management (DTM(SM)) and specialty pharmacy services."
     In commenting on certain financial aspects of the quarter, Chief Financial
 Officer, Donald Perfetto stated, "We continued our strong operating
 performance as our return on sales increased 20 basis points to 5.2% compared
 to 5.0% in the prior year.  Our balance sheet continues to strengthen with
 $140 million in cash and no debt at quarter end.  We continue to lower our
 days sales outstanding as they are now 54 days, down from 56 at year end.  Our
 cash flow from operations was $16 million in the first quarter, well ahead of
 the $8.7 million in net earnings.  Our returns on committed capital and
 invested capital on a trailing 12 month basis are 60% and 50%, respectively."
     Mr. Myers concluded, "We continue to be optimistic with our business
 model.  Our low cost, centrally focused, high quality programs continue to
 attract interest as the logical choice for the sophisticated
 biopharmaceuticals that are anticipated to enter the market in the years
 ahead.  We believe we are well positioned to take advantage of these new
 entries in an efficient and cost-effective manner."
     Priority Healthcare Corporation is a national specialty pharmacy and
 distributor that provides biopharmaceuticals, complex therapies and related
 disease treatment programs and services.
     Certain information in this press release contains forward-looking
 statements as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and 21E of the
 Exchange Act.  Certain factors, including those described in our filings with
 the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the
 forward-looking statements.
 
     For further information contact:
     Robert L. Myers or
     Donald J. Perfetto
     (407) 804-6700
 
 
                        PRIORITY HEALTHCARE CORPORATION
                      CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
                       (000's omitted, except share data)
                                  (unaudited)
 
 
                                                  Three-month    Three-month
                                                 period ended   period ended
                                                    March 31,       April 1,
                                                         2001           2000
 
 
 
     Net sales                                      $ 168,346      $ 136,553
     Cost of products sold                            146,736        119,661
     Gross profit                                      21,610         16,892
 
     Selling, general and administrative expense        8,981          6,793
     Depreciation and amortization                        529            345
     Earnings from operations                          12,100          9,754
 
     Interest income                                    1,873          1,204
     Earnings before income taxes                      13,973         10,958
 
     Provision for income taxes                         5,240          4,197
 
     Net earnings                                      $8,733         $6,761
 
     Earnings per share:
      Basic                                              $.20           $.16
      Diluted                                            $.20           $.16
     Weighted average shares outstanding:
      Basic                                        43,179,651     41,430,432
      Diluted                                      44,598,467     42,330,276
 
 

SOURCE Priority Healthcare Corporation
    LAKE MARY, Fla., April 19 /PRNewswire/ --
 Priority Healthcare Corporation (Nasdaq:   PHCC) reported record results for the
 first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  Net earnings increased 29% to $8.7
 million from $6.8 million.   Sales increased 23% to $168 million from $137
 million.  Earnings per share advanced 25% to $.20 from $.16.
     "We are very pleased to report the strong results for the first quarter,"
 said Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Myers.  "For the
 quarter, gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 40 basis points to
 12.8% from 12.4% in the prior year.  This increase in gross profit percentage
 resulted predominantly from a shift in mix driven by pharmacy sales becoming a
 greater percentage of total sales.  The increase in selling, general and
 administrative expenses as a percentage of sales to 5.3% from last year's 5.0%
 represents the increased cost associated with the more clinically oriented
 pharmacy business.  The resulting earnings from operations as a percentage of
 sales for the quarter of 7.2% is a 10 basis point increase from 7.1% in the
 prior year."
     Mr. Myers continued, "At the beginning of April we announced the
 acquisition of Physicians Formulary, a national distributor of
 biopharmaceuticals, based in Phoenix.  This acquisition, coupled with the
 January purchase of Freedom Drug, the nation's leading infertility specialty
 pharmacy, provides Priority Healthcare with two outstanding opportunities.
 Additionally, the two initiatives we announced in the first quarter with
 Medtronic and Aventis Behring move the company into the new markets of pain
 management and hemophilia and validate our position as the partner of choice
 in Disease Treatment Management (DTM(SM)) and specialty pharmacy services."
     In commenting on certain financial aspects of the quarter, Chief Financial
 Officer, Donald Perfetto stated, "We continued our strong operating
 performance as our return on sales increased 20 basis points to 5.2% compared
 to 5.0% in the prior year.  Our balance sheet continues to strengthen with
 $140 million in cash and no debt at quarter end.  We continue to lower our
 days sales outstanding as they are now 54 days, down from 56 at year end.  Our
 cash flow from operations was $16 million in the first quarter, well ahead of
 the $8.7 million in net earnings.  Our returns on committed capital and
 invested capital on a trailing 12 month basis are 60% and 50%, respectively."
     Mr. Myers concluded, "We continue to be optimistic with our business
 model.  Our low cost, centrally focused, high quality programs continue to
 attract interest as the logical choice for the sophisticated
 biopharmaceuticals that are anticipated to enter the market in the years
 ahead.  We believe we are well positioned to take advantage of these new
 entries in an efficient and cost-effective manner."
     Priority Healthcare Corporation is a national specialty pharmacy and
 distributor that provides biopharmaceuticals, complex therapies and related
 disease treatment programs and services.
     Certain information in this press release contains forward-looking
 statements as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and 21E of the
 Exchange Act.  Certain factors, including those described in our filings with
 the SEC, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the
 forward-looking statements.
 
     For further information contact:
     Robert L. Myers or
     Donald J. Perfetto
     (407) 804-6700
 
 
                        PRIORITY HEALTHCARE CORPORATION
                      CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
                       (000's omitted, except share data)
                                  (unaudited)
 
 
                                                  Three-month    Three-month
                                                 period ended   period ended
                                                    March 31,       April 1,
                                                         2001           2000
 
 
 
     Net sales                                      $ 168,346      $ 136,553
     Cost of products sold                            146,736        119,661
     Gross profit                                      21,610         16,892
 
     Selling, general and administrative expense        8,981          6,793
     Depreciation and amortization                        529            345
     Earnings from operations                          12,100          9,754
 
     Interest income                                    1,873          1,204
     Earnings before income taxes                      13,973         10,958
 
     Provision for income taxes                         5,240          4,197
 
     Net earnings                                      $8,733         $6,761
 
     Earnings per share:
      Basic                                              $.20           $.16
      Diluted                                            $.20           $.16
     Weighted average shares outstanding:
      Basic                                        43,179,651     41,430,432
      Diluted                                      44,598,467     42,330,276
 
 SOURCE  Priority Healthcare Corporation