Woonsocket, R.I. -- CVS Caremark Corp.’s first-quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 23% as new generic drugs and demand for flu medications helped the company’s profitability. The chain narrowed its 2013 guidance to reflect higher-than-expected performance.
For the first quarter, CVS earned $956 million, up from $776 million in last year's quarter.
Companywide revenue slipped 0.1% to $30.76 billion, but exceeded the $30.36 billion that Wall Street expected.
"I'm very pleased with our strong first quarter results,” said CVS president and CEO Larry Merlo. “As expected, the influx of new generic drugs was a key driver across the enterprise, resulting in solid gross margin expansion as well as significant growth in operating profit and earnings.”
During the quarter, CVS opened 37 drug stores and closed nine stores, while also relocating 15 units. As of March 31, 2013, the company operated 7,596 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Brazil. These locations included 7,531 retail drug stores, 18 onsite pharmacies, 31 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 12 specialty mail-order pharmacies and four mail-order pharmacies.