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Local Tech Wire

BURLINGTON, N.C. – Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) eked past Wall Street analysts’ earnings expectations with a profit of $1.16 per share after one-time expenses and other items in the fourth quarter.

The company reported Thursday before the markets opened.

Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected $1.15, according to MarketWatch.

reported overall revenues of $1.16 billion, an increase of more than 3 percent from a year earler.

Earnings totaled $142.7 million, up from $118.1 for the same quarter in 2008.

The lab testing services provider said testing volume decreased 1.5 percent.

A change in tax provisions resulted in a $7.1 million boost for the quarter, the company noted.

For the year, LabCorp recorded revenues of nearly $4.7 billion, up 4 percent from 2008. Profits were $543 million, or $4.98 per share, up from $464.5 million and $4.16.

"We are very pleased with our fourth quarter and 2009 results, given the challenging economic environment,” said LabCorp Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David King. “ We remain optimistic about the growth opportunities that lie ahead for us in 2010, and we are well positioned to capitalize on them.”

LabCorp also said it would launch a $250 million stock buyback plan.

LabCorp closed at $70.97 Wednesday.

Click here for the complete earnings report.