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Business is booming for health care companies. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

With more than a week to go in the second-quarter earnings season, the health care industry has already banked more profits than any other quarter in the past year.

The bottom line: Company after company has posted profits that have exceeded Wall Street estimates, and most firms have raised profit estimates for the rest of 2018.

By the numbers: As of Aug. 2, 85 publicly traded health care companies have amassed $47 billion of global profit on $545 billion of global revenue in the second quarter, according to company documents.

  • That profit is higher than the $45.6 billion that 118 health care companies posted in the first quarter of this year, and it's higher than anything recorded in the past year.
  • Pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in the highest profit margins.
  • The numbers do not include not-for-profit hospital systems, which have not filed second-quarter reports yet.
  • Fatter profits are due in part to growing sales of prescription drugs, medical devices, tests and procedures — that reflects both higher prices and more quantities sold.
  • But the larger earnings also stemmed from Republicans' massive cut in corporate taxes. The income tax expense for drug giant AbbVie, for example, was 93% lower in the second quarter this year.

Go deeper: Check out the entire Axios health care earnings tracker.

Go deeper

52 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.

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