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CVS Q3 Earnings Rise, Beat Wall Street Estimates

Today, CVS Caremark Corp. reported third-quarter income from continuing operations increased 24.6% to $1.3 billion. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations was $1.09 versus 85 cents in the 2012 period.

Adjusted EPS in the third quarter included a pre-tax gain from a legal settlement of $72 million, or approximately four cents per share. Excluding the gain from the legal settlement, adjusted EPS was $1.05. Adjusted EPS in the 2013 and 2012 third quaters excludes intangible asset amortization related to acquisition activity of $124 million and $121 million, respectively.

A Thomson Reuters analyst estimate called for EPS of $1.02, giving CVS a three-cent beat.

Third-quarter net revenues increased 5.8% to $32 billion versus the year-earlier period.

Comparable store sales increased 3.6% versus the prior-year period, with comps up 5.7% and front-end comps, including results from home goods and other general merchandise, down 1%. A decline in traffic drove front end comps down, CVS related, but basket size and margin improved modestly during the quarter.

“Our third quarter results reflect strong operating performance across the enterprise,” president and CEO Larry Merlo said in comments on the quarter’s results. “Adjusted earnings per share excluding the settlement gain exceeded the high end of our guidance by two cents per share. We are well on track for another year of strong growth in 2013.”