CVS Health Corp. (CVS) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Wednesday, and lifted its full-year profit guidance as last year's acquisition of Aetna continues to support the group's surging revenue growth.

CVS said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in September came in at $1.84 per share, up 6.35% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.77 per share. Group revenues, CVS said, rose 36.5% to $64.8 billion, again topping analysts' forecasts of a $63 billion tally.

Looking into the final months of 2019, CVS said it would "raise and narrow" its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $6.97 to $7.05 per share, up 5 cents per share at the top end of its prior forecast, with a pledge to "remain focused on successful execution of our strategic priorities and integration plans to unleash the full potential of our consumer-centric health care model and create value for all stakeholders."

"Our third quarter results build on the positive momentum we have seen across the company since the beginning of the year," said CEO Larry Merlo. "All of our core businesses performed in line with or above expectations, reflecting strong operational execution. As a result, we delivered strong growth and generated robust operating cash flow, which enabled us to continue to delever while returning capital to our shareholders."

CVS shares were marked 3.71% higher following the earnings release to change hands at $69.85 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 24%.

Pharmacy Services revenues rose 6.5% to $36.018 billion, CVS said, "primarily due to brand name drug price inflation as well as increased total pharmacy claims volume, partially offset by continued price compression and an increased generic dispensing rate."

Retail sales rose 2.9% to $21.466 billion while the group's healthcare benefits division saw sales surge from 641million to $17.181 billion as it added Aetna's operations to its legacy business.