reported that fourth-quarter revenue rose 19.7%, less than Wall Street anticipated.
The pharmacy chain said sales totaled $8.92 billion for the quarter, compared with $7.45 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting $9.14 billion in revenue, according to the consensus estimate reported by Thomson First Call.
Shares of CVS were recently down 15 cents, or 0.3%, to $45.86.
For the month of December, total sales increased 8.9% to $3.66 billion, compared with $3.36 billion, while same-store sales, those at stores open for at least one year, increased 4.6% over last year.
December sales in 2003 benefited from an extra week that generated $530.8 million in net sales. Also, this year's results reflect the impact of the acquisition of 1,268 Eckerd drugstores completed in July, as well as Eckerd's pharmacy benefit management and mail-order pharmacy business. Total pharmacy sales represented 66.6% of total company sales in December.
Pharmacy same-store sales increased 7%, while front-end same-store sales increased 0.4%. Same-store sales results do not include the acquired Eckerd drugstores. CVS said they would be added to same-store sales reports beginning in August 2005.
For the full year, the pharmacy chain's total sales for 2004 increased 15.1% to a record $30.59 billion, compared with $26.59 billion for 2003. Same-store sales were up 5.5% in 2004 over the year before. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 7%, while front-end same-store sales increased 2.3%.