CVS Meets Lowered Fourth-Quarter Estimates Before Charge

Drug giant CVS ( CVS) earned $98.2 million, or 24 cents a share, before a big restructuring charge in its fourth quarter, meeting analysts' lowered expectations on an 8.6% rise in quarterly sales to $6 billion.

After the charge, which covered store closings and layoffs, CVS lost $133.8 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with earnings of $206.2 million, or 51 cents a share, last year.

The company said same-store sales rose 7.5% in the fourth quarter.

CVS also reported that January same-store sales were up 7.9%, with pharmacy same-store sales rising 10.3% and merchandise sales rising 3.3%.

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