Following strong pharmacy and retail growth in the third quarter as patients visited doctors more frequently and filled cheaper generic prescriptions, CVS Caremark (CVS) topped expectations on Tuesday and raised its full-year outlook.
The pharmacy-chain operator posted net income last quarter of $1.01 billion, or 80 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $868 million, or 65 cents.
Excluding one-time items, CVS Caremark earned 85 cents, topping average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by a penny.
Revenue for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 climbed 13.3% to a record $30.2 billion, topping the Street’s view of $30.09 billion, with pharmacy services up 22.% and retail pharmacy climbing 5.5%.
“We posted strong results across the enterprise, with the Pharmacy Services Segment significantly outpacing our growth expectations,” CVS chief executive Larry Merlo said in a statement.
The company raised its fiscal 2012 non-GAAP guidance to a range of $3.38 to $3.41 from its earlier view of $3.32 to $3.38, topping the consensus’ $3.37.
CVS benefited from an impasse between larger rival Walgreen (WAG) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX). While the impasse ended this summer as the two reached a deal, CVS is looking to hold on to as many prescriptions as possible.
Merlo in an interview with Reuters said he expects to retain at least 60% of the prescriptions it gained through the fourth quarter, up from an earlier goal of just 50%.