CVS Health Q1 tops Street; raises forecast

Marianne Wilson
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CVS Health store
CVS Health’s first-quarter revenue increased 11.2% to $76.83 billion.

CVS Health reported a strong first quarter as retail traffic maintained momentum despite slowing Covid testing and vaccinations.  

The company reported net income of $2.31 billion, or $1.74 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $2.22 billion, or $1.68 per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings came to $2.22 per share, topping analysts’ estimates of $2.15 per share.

Revenue increased 11.2% to $76.83 billion, also better than expected,  driven by growth across all segments. CVS same-store sales rose 10.7% amid increased prescription demand even as demand for COVID vaccines and testings fell.

In the pharmacy, same-store sales rose 10.1%. Front-end same-store sales increased 13.2%.

“Our strategy improves access to affordable, convenient and personalized health care, which benefits consumers and shareholders,” said Karen S.Lynch, president and CEO. “We once again showed the power of our purpose and potential, building on our strong momentum and raising full-year guidance as a result.”

In November 2021, CVS said it planned to close approximately 300 stores annually during the next three years “to reduce store density in certain locations.”  On the company’s earnings call, Lynch said the company has so far closed about 100 of the 300 locations it plans to shutter this year. She also noted that CVS has retained about 70% of the prescription volume from the shuttered stores, and more than 95% of the store employees.

CVS has been rolling out technologies  to enhance its customer experience. The chain expects to be able to offer  same-day pickup of online purchases at about 6,000 stores later this year

[Read More: CVS enters digital health partnership with Microsoft ]

CVS said it now expects adjusted earnings per share for 2022 to range from $8.20 to $8.40 compared with its previous forecast of between $8.10 to $8.30