The Economy

CVS Health Beats Earnings Estimates

The company said it expects to complete its acquisition of Aetna by Thanksgiving.
William SprouseNovember 6, 2018
CVS Health Beats Earnings Estimates

CVS Health reported quarterly earnings per share of $1.73 per share on revenue of $47.3 billion, beating analyst estimates and sending shares up 1.9% in pre-market trading. Analysts had forecast earnings per share of $1.71 and revenue of $47.2 billion.

The health-care company reported third-quarter net income of $1.39 billion, up from $1.29 billion a year ago. Its revenue was up 2.4%. Adjusted earnings per share was up 15.5% from a year ago.

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Revenue growth in CVS Health’s retail pharmacy division was up nearly 7%, with same-store sales up by 6.7%. Front-of-store sales, which includes makeup and vitamins, rose nearly 2% year over year, and same-store pharmacy sales increased 8.7% compared with last year.

CVS also said it expected to close on its acquisition of Aetna before Thanksgiving.

cvs health store“While this is a shallow gain, it is most definitely a step in the right direction,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told CNBC. “However, our outlook on the retail side remains cautious, and we are split as to whether this represents the start of a new upside for CVS’ retail operation, or whether it is just an anomaly.”

In October, CVS received preliminary approval from the Department of Justice for its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, but it still needs approval from a number of states, including New York. The deal is seen as a way for CVS to transform its drugstore format and create a string of low-cost neighborhood health services centers. In a similar move, Walgreens is partnering with Humana to offer health clinics in its stores.

CVS Health reiterated its guidance for full-year adjusted earnings per share of between $6.98 to $7.08.

“While CVS and Aetna remain separate companies today, the performance of both companies highlights the very solid financial foundation on which we’ll build our revolutionary new model that will transform the health-care experience for consumers and, in the process, deliver substantial value for our shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo said in a statement.

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