CVS’s fourth quarter results beat expectations as Covid testing boosts overall store sales

A teenage girl receives her Pfizer Covid-19 booster at a CVS pharmacy in New York City on January 20, 2022.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

CVS Health said Wednesday that demand for at-home Covid tests and recalls boosted overall store sales, helping the company beat expectations for fourth-quarter earnings.

The shares fell less than 1% in premarket trading.

The drugstore chain and health insurer reiterated their guidance for fiscal 2022, saying they expect earnings from continuing operations to be between $7.04 and $7.24 per share and that adjusted earnings are between $8.10 and $8.30 per share.

Here’s what the company reported for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to what analysts expected, based on an analyst survey by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.98 adjusted vs $1.93 forecast
  • 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, 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 better than the $1.93 per share expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.

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

CVS said it saw an increase in prescription volumes, in-store sales and vaccinations at its stores during the three-month period. She said she also benefited from growth in 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 increase in vaccinations from the 11.6 million it administered in the third quarter.

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

Read the company’s press release here.

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