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CVS Beats Estimates

Sales rise 24%.

CVS (CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report beat fourth-quarter earnings targets as sales rose 24% from a year ago.

The Woonsocket, R.I., drugstore chain, in the midst of a contentious merger battle for mail-order pharmacy



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, made $417 million, or 49 cents a share, up from the year-ago $406 million, or 48 cents a share. Revenue rose to $12.1 billion from $9.7 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 43-cent profit on sales of $12.1 billion.

CVS said the acquisition of 701 stand-alone Sav-on and Osco drugstores on June 2 reduced latest-quarter earnings by 5 cents. The latest quarter also included a 3-cent accounting gain and a penny a share in tax benefits.

Same-store sales (sales from stores open more than one year) for the quarter rose 8.7%, while pharmacy same store sales rose 10.2% and front-end same-store sales increased 5.5%. Same-store sales do not include the sales results of the drugstores acquired in June.

January revenues increased 24.2% to $3.7 billion. Same-store sales rose 8.6%, while pharmacy same-store sales increased 8.7% and front-end same-store sales increased 8.2%.