CVS Health Tops Q2 Earnings Forecast, Boosts 2020 Outlook

CVS Health sees 2020 earnings in the range of $7.14 to $7.27 per share, a 13 cent improvement from the top end of the group's prior forecast.

CVS Health Corp.  (CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday, and boosted its full-year profit guidance, as Aetna sales continue to help boost the group's overall bottom line.

CVS said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in June were pegged at $2.26 per share, a 19.6% increase from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.92 per share. Group revenues, CVS said, rose 3% to $65.3 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $64.2 billion tally. 

Looking into the final half of the year, CVS said it sees adjusted earnings in the region of $7.14 to $7.27 per share, up from a prior forecast of $7.04 to $7.14 per share, and operational cash flow in the region of $11 billion to $11.5 billion.

"We have a strong foundation of clinical expertise, data analytics and digital capabilities, and unmatched consumer and community reach which has allowed us to rapidly bring our strategy to life at an unprecedented time," said CEO Larry Merlo. "The environment surrounding COVID-19 is accelerating our transformation, giving us new opportunities to demonstrate the power of our integrated offerings and the ability to deliver care to consumers in the community, in the home and in the palm of their hand which has never been more important." 

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"We have stayed true to our purpose of helping people on their path to better health, and we remain focused on creating value for all our stakeholders," he added.

CVS shares were marked 0.8% lower in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $64.44, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 10%.

Pharmacy Services revenues were little changed from last year at $34.889 billion, CVS said, as "growth in specialty pharmacy and brand inflation were largely offset by previously disclosed client losses and continued price compression." 

Retail sales rose 1% to $21.662 billion, as same-store sales accelerated 4.6%. The group's healthcare benefits division saw sales rise 6.2% to $18.468 billion as it added Aetna's operations to its legacy business.