Following strong pharmacy and retail growth in the third quarter as patients visited doctors more frequently and filled cheaper generic prescriptions, CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) topped expectations on Tuesday and raised its full-year outlook.
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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 (NYSE:WAG) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (NASDA: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%.