This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

CVS Without Tobacco Is Still CVS

Over the last year, both Walgreens and CVS have been big Wall Street gainers, but Walgreens has moved further, up almost 37% over the last year against CVS' gain of almost 26%. I wrote favorably about Walgreens last June and have since bought some stock in the company for my retirement account.

In a statement, CVS Caremark CEO Larry Merlo said his company is going to expand its work in smoking cessation, starting this spring, and involve both its MinuteClinic health clinics and Caremark pharmacy benefit management system in the effort.

The CVS move underscores the growing importance of drug stores in the health care system. Both CVS and Walgreens are pushing their clinic services as an alternative in primary care, staffed by registered nurses and physicians' assistants, backed by computer technology that connects them to both best practices and practicing physicians.

So far, CVS has opened over 750 MinuteClinics while Walgreens has about 400 Healthcare Clinics in its stores. Other companies opening in-store clinics include Wal-Mart (WMT), Kroger (KR), and Target (TGT), but all are well behind the two drugstore chains.

By opening clinics in existing stores, CVS and Walgreens minimize their costs and get the chance to make additional sales from patients who are either waiting for care or who are prescribed either drugs or over-the-counter remedies.

The difference between the two chains is that while CVS is retaining its current look and feel, which is that of a convenience chain with a pharmacy counter, Walgreens is engaging in a major makeover in order to push its services.

Early reaction to CVS Caremark's move is negative. In a market that was down an average of 0.47%, CVS shares were down 0.80%, a loss of about $600 in market cap. Walgreens, by contrast, was up 1.8%, a gain of more than $950 million in market cap.

At the time of publication the author owned shares in WAG.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

 

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,982.59 +22.02 0.13%
S&P 500 1,978.91 +0.57 0.03%
NASDAQ 4,444.9090 -4.6550 -0.10%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs