CVS Q4 net income, sales jump

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS Caremark reported strong performance in both earnings and revenues for both the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014. The chain also raised its guidance for the first quarter.

CVS said net income during the quarter ended Dec. 31,2014, rose 12.5% to $1.26 billion from $1.12 billion in the year-ago quarter. For the full year, income rose 19% to $4.59 billion, from $3.86 billion.

Meanwhile, net sales for the quarter increased about 4% to $32.8 million from $31.4 million. Net sales rose 3% for the full fiscal year, to $126.8 million from $123.1 million. Strong performance in pharmacy services and retail pharmacy helped drive CVS’ results, as well as a gain from a legal settlement recognized in the third quarter that boosted net earnings.

Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS, said an unusually good fourth quarter contributed to a generally strong year. Fourth quarter results in both earnings and revenues beat analyst revenues.

“I am very pleased with our fourth quarter results, which came in at the high end of our expectations and helped produce a record year,” said Merlo. “As expected, the quarter was somewhat atypical, largely due to the timing of Medicare Part D profits within the PBM and the timing of break-open generics across the enterprise. Overall, the year 2013 produced strong growth in revenues, gross margin, operating margin and earnings across the enterprise."

CVS announced last week it would stop selling all tobacco products at its drug stores by October 2014.

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