CVS Front End Sales Gain

Sales in the front end, including general merchandise, helped CVS Health Corp. revenues gain in the fourth quarter as adjusted earnings beat analyst expectations.

In the fourth quarter, CVS posted a company net loss of $419 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, versus net income of $3.29 billion, or $3.22 per diluted share, in the year-before quarter. Adjusted for one-time charges, earnings per share were $2.14 versus $1.92 in the year-prior quarter.

Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat a Zacks Investment Research analyst consensus estimate of $2.07.

Net revenues were $54.42 billion with product sales at $47.88 billion versus $48.39 billion in the year previous. Operating income slipped to $824 million from $3.11 billion but, adjusted, advanced to $3.35 billion from $3.21 billion in the quarter year over year.

For the full fiscal year, CVS posted a company net loss of $594 million, or 57 cents per diluted share, versus company net income of $6.62 billion, or $6.44 per diluted share, in the year before. Adjusted earnings per share were $7.08 versus $5.90 in the year earlier.

Net revenues were $194.58 billion with product sales of $183.91 billion versus $184.79 billion in the year previous. Operating income decreased to $4.02 billion from $9.54 billion but increased to $10.26 billion from $10.01 billion year over year.

In the Retail/LTC segment, fourth quarter revenues were $22.03 billion with product sales at $21.79 billion versus $20.91 billion and $20.67 billion in the quarter a year earlier. Front store sales were $5.07 billion as compared to $4.98 billion in the period a year prior. Front store comparable sales increased 0.5% in the quarter year over year.

For the full fiscal year, Retail/LTC segment results included revenues of $83.99 billion with product sales at $83.18 billion versus $79.4 billion and $78.52 billion in the year earlier. Front store sales were $19.06 billion as compared to $18.77 billion in the year prior. Front store comps increased 0.5% year over year.

CVS president and CEO Larry Merlo said, “2018 was a milestone year for CVS Health as we successfully completed our transformational merger with Aetna, began effective implementation of our integration strategy, and took important steps toward building the integrated healthcare model that will bring substantial value to our various stakeholders. We had strong financial performance and delivered on our operating expectations.”