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CVS fourth-quarter earnings top expectations as Covid vaccines lift overall store sales

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A teen receives her Pfizer Covid-19 booster at a CVS pharmacy in New York City on Jan. 20th, 2022.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

CVS Health said Wednesday that demand for at-home Covid tests and booster shots lifted overall store sales, helping the company top expectations for fourth-quarter earnings.

Shares fell less than 1% in premarket trading.

The drugstore chain and health insurer reiterated its fiscal 2022 forecast, saying it expects earnings from continuing operations to range between $7.04 to $7.24 per share and adjusted earnings to range between $8.10 to $8.30 per share.

Here’s what the company reported for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared with what analysts were expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

Earnings per share: $1.98 adjusted vs. $1.93 expected
Revenue: $76.60 billion vs. $75.67 billion expected

CVS reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $1.31 billion, or 99 cents per share, up from $973 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said its net income from continuing operations was 98 cents. But it earned $1.98 per share, after adjustments, which was more than the $1.93 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Total revenue for the period rose to $76.60 billion from $69.55 billion a year earlier, exceedingexpectations of $75.67 billion.

CVS said it saw higher prescription volumes, front-of-store sales and vaccinations at its stores during the three month period. It said it also benefited from the growth of specialty pharmacy.

It administered more than 8 million Covid tests and more than 20 million Covid vaccines across the country in the fourth quarter, a significant jump in vaccinations from the 11.6 million it administered in the third quarter.

Shares of CVS are up 51% over the past 12 months and touched a 52-week high on Tuesday. Shares closed Tuesday at $110.83, up 1.3%. The company’s market value is $146.30 billion.

Read the company’s press release here.

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