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Healthcare Stocks Scratching Out Small Gains; McKesson Rising Following Q4 Results

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Healthcare stocks were slightly higher Tuesday afternoon, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index adding about 0.2% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 climbing 0.2% as a group.

In company news, McKesson ( MCK ) was higher Tuesday after the drug wholesaler reported year-over-year improvement in its fiscal Q4 financial results, also topping analyst estimates for the period.

MCK posted Q4 EPS of $2.55, up from a $1.48 gain during the year-ago quarter and beating analyst estimates by $0.15 per share. Revenue rose 25% over the same quarter last year to $38.1 billion, beating the Capital IQ consensus by around $2.3 million.

For the new fiscal year running through next March, MCK is expects per-share earnings in a range of $10.40 to $10.80 per share, in line with analyst estimates looking for EPS of $10.62.

MCK shares were up 3.3% at $179.87 each in recent trade, climbing to a session high of $181.00 a share earlier.

In other sector news,

(-) APRI, (-1.3%) Receives FDA approval to begin Phase IIa testing of its RayVa topical cream - a combination of alprostadil and the company's proprietary permeation enhancer DDAIP.HCl - as a prospective treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon.

(-) ARNA, (-5.0%) Q1 net loss of $0.12 per share was $0.02 wider than the Capital IQ consensus. Revenue grows 186.9% over year-ago levels to $6.8 mln but still lag estimates by around $1.18 mln.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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