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Tickers in this Article: ABC, MHS, DVA, ACOR, ELN
As the third-quarter earnings season begins to approach the late innings, a number of companies in the healthcare sector will announce their quarterly results. Here are four names in the space to keep an eye on as their earnings are released.

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Growth That Is Anything But Generic
When the pharmaceutical services company AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) reports its fiscal Q4 earnings before the market opens on Tuesday, Nov. 3, analysts will be expecting the company to check in with EPS growth of 8.1% on a 5.3% increase in sales. The company has beaten estimates by a couple of pennies in each of the last four quarters and heads into earnings up 29.9% in 2009.

In Q3, the Pennsylvania-based organization reported a quarter of record revenue that was driven by strong generic drug sales and contributions from AmerisourceBergen's fee-for-service agreements. For its full-year results, the company is expecting its EPS to be 10% to 15% above its aggregate results from 2008.

MedcoHealth Solutions (NYSE: MHS), another company in the pharmacy services business, is also expected to report strong Q3 results. Analysts are calling for the company to post a 14.3% rise in EPS accompanied by a 16.9% pop in revenue. Medco is coming off of a quarter of record revenue that enabled the firm to up its full-year guidance.

Innovative Therapies
After the market close on Tuesday, the consensus is that the dialysis services company DaVita (NYSE: DVA) will announce Q3 EPS growth of 11.2% on a 5.8% improvement in sales when compared to its year-ago quarter. The company's stock price has risen 8.4% year to date.

DaVita provides both inpatient and outpatient dialysis services for patients with chronic kidney failure. In Q2, the company realized a 5.2% increase in its treatments per day ratio. Dialysis and related lab services revenue per treatment also ticked up ever so slightly during the quarter.

Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR) is expected to post a Q3 loss on Tuesday, but investors have already shifted their attention forward a few months. The Food and Drug Administration has pushed back a ruling on Acorda's multiple sclerosis drug candidate by three months to mid-January so that the company can amend its new drug application. The drug, Fampridine-SR, is being developed by Acorda and manufactured by Elan (NYSE: ELN).

The Bottom Line
These four companies continue to press ahead with favorable top-line growth despite the anxiety that Capitol Hill has injected into the healthcare space. AmerisourceBergen and Medco should once again report record revenues in their most recent quarters. These results illustrate that there are still investing opportunities within a sector that is otherwise surrounded by uncertainty. (For more on analyst expectations, be sure to read Analyst Forecasts Spell Disaster For Some Stocks.)

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