CVS Caremark 1Q profit soars 23 percent

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CVS Caremark Corp. says first-quarter earnings jumped 23 percent and topped analyst expectations, as an influx of generic drugs helped the drugstore operator and pharmacy benefits manager's profitability.

The Woonsocket, R.I., company says it earned $956 million, or 77 cents per share, in the quarter. That compares with earnings of $776 million, or 59 cents per share, in last year's quarter. Adjusted earnings totaled 83 cents per share in the most recent quarter, and revenue fell slightly to $30.76 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 79 cents per share on about $30.37 billion in revenue.

Generic drugs help drugstore profitability because they provide a wider margin between the cost for the pharmacy to purchase the drugs and the reimbursement received. But they hurt revenue because they cost less than brand-name products.

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