CVS Rises on Q3 Earnings and Revenue Beat

Shares of CVS Health Corp. (CVS) climbed in premarket trading on Tuesday, Nov. 6, after the company reported better-than-expected third quarter results.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS also said its $69 billion purchase of insurer Aetna Inc. (AET) is expected to close prior to Thanksgiving.

Shares of CVS were up 2.5% to $75.50 on Tuesday before the market open. They are up 1.6% this year.

CVS reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.73, up 15.3% from the year-ago period. Net revenue rose 2.4% year-over-year to $47.3 billion.

Analysts had estimated, on average, non-GAAP EPS of $1.71 on revenue of $47.204 billion, according to FactSet.

Same-store sales rose 6.7% during the period. Pharmacy same-store sales grew 8.7%, which the company said was fueled mainly by the growth in pharmacy same-store prescription volumes, but "partially offset by continued reimbursement pressure and a negative impact of approximately 190 basis points due to recent generic introductions."

CVS reaffirmed its outlook for full-year 2018. CVS continues to project GAAP diluted EPS of $1.40 to $1.50 and adjusted EPS of $6.98 to $7.08. Consensus estimates for adjusted EPS were for $7.04 for the full year, according to FactSet. 

CVS said it expects to complete its Aetna purchase before Thanksgiving. The companies first announced the deal in December.

CVS and Aetna last month received conditional approval from the Department of Justice on their merger. The DOJ required the pair to divest Aetna's Medicare Part D prescription drug business in order to go through with the transaction.

To clinch the DOJ's nod, Aetna in September agreed to sell its Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans Inc.

On Tuesday, CVS said it has secured approval from 23 of 28 states and "and we are well down the line with the remaining five."

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