FINANCE

CVS Caremark Q4 profit up nearly 4%

BY Staff Writer

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp.’s fourth-quarter earnings rose nearly 4% to $1.06 billion, amid increased pharmacy services revenue because of a long-term contract and new business. The company raised its 2012 earnings forecast by 3 cents per share to account for gains it expects because of a contract dispute between Walgreens and Express Scripts Inc.

Net revenues for the quarter increased 15.2% to a record $28.3 billion. Drugstore revenue increased 4%. Same-store sales were up 2.5%.

For the full year, CVS earned $3.46 billion on $107.1 billion in revenue.

“As we close the chapter on 2011, we are optimistic that we can deliver even better results in 2012,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO. “We have the right people, the right assets, and the right plans in place to continue to reinvent pharmacy and benefit from the changing health care landscape. Our retail business continues to execute successfully, while our PBM is poised to return to healthy operating profit growth in 2012.”

The chain opened 24 drug stores in the fourth quarter and closed one. It operated 7,327 as of Dec. 31.

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REAL ESTATE

Dunkin’ Donuts in deal for 11 stores in Denver, eight in El Paso

BY Staff Writer

Canton, Mass. — Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with a newly formed subsidiary of Sizzling Platter, LLC (Sizzling Donuts, LLC) for 11 new restaurants in Denver, and eight in El Paso, Texas.

The company also acquired two additional existing restaurants in El Paso.

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FINANCE

Jones Group narrows loss

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — The Jones Group reported a net loss of $21.1 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $40.1 million a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter revenue totaled $893.6 million, which was in line with analysts’ expectations but lower than the company’s earlier forecast.

Wesley R. Card, CEO, stated: "Fourth quarter revenues were lower than expected due to the highly promotional retail environment and a slowdown in replenishment orders. Our gross margins were much improved due to the inclusion of the Kurt Geiger business and an improvement in our core businesses, which generated a modest improvement in operating income."

Looking ahead, Card said the company was committed to driving profitability and would continue to operate efficiently, control costs and execute at a high level.

“At the same time, we are concentrating our efforts on the areas we believe offer the greatest opportunity for revenue growth – upscale and contemporary brands, international and our traditional core brands,” he said. “We believe our new brand management approach and creative design talents, including the addition of Stefani Greenfield, as chief creative officer, will advance the reinvigoration of our core brands."

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