CVS boosts outlook as Aetna takeover bears fruit

'We are confident that we’re on the right path'

CVS Health reported strong fourth-quarter results and raised its 2020 outlook, citing the successful integration of its Aetna purchase.

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The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.74 billion, or $1.33 a share, as revenue rose 23% to $66.9 billion. Adjusted earnings of $1.73 a share topped the $1.68 average estimate from analysts, and shares rallied.

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For the full year, CVS earned $6.63 billion on revenue of $256.8 billion.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CVSCVS HEALTH CORPORATION59.33-3.32-5.30%

“As a result of the significant progress we made in 2019, and meeting or exceeding our expectations for the year," the company expects 2020 profit of as much as $7.17 a share, CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement. "We are confident that we’re on the right path to delivering significant value."

That guidance topped the $7.15 average estimate from analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Sales from CVS' health insurance unit surged 175 percent in the fourth quarter to $17.15 billion, boosted by the company's $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which was completed in November 2018. Revenue from the pharmacy chain's retail unit climbed 2.5 percent to $22.58 billion

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CVS shares fell 0.6% this year through Tuesday, lagging the S&P 500's 3.9% gain.