Margin Gains Lift CVS' Quarter

CVS ( CVS) said first-quarter earnings shot up 12%, matching analysts' expectations. The company cited gross margin improvement from sales of generic drugs and a better seasonal sell-through.

The company earned $196.3 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $175.7 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-ago period. CVS said it increased its sales of generic pharmaceuticals and reduced its number of markdowns because of better seasonal sell-through.

Sales rose 5.6% to $6.31 billion, while same-store sales rose 3.9% during the quarter. The company said pharmacy same-store sales were up 7.1%, and that total pharmacy sales represented 69.4% of total company revenue for the quarter.

During the quarter, the company opened 37 new stores, closed 25 and relocated 24 others.

Separately, the company said April same-store sales increased 7.1% and pharmacy same-store sales rose 7.0%. CVS also said same-store sales for the March/April period rose 4.4%.

Shares of Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS closed at $25.47 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

More from Stocks

Markets Look Confused After Latest Beating

Markets Look Confused After Latest Beating

General Electric Expulsion From Dow Symbolizes Unsettled Week in Markets

General Electric Expulsion From Dow Symbolizes Unsettled Week in Markets

How Small-Cap Stocks Can Protect Your Portfolio From a Trade War

How Small-Cap Stocks Can Protect Your Portfolio From a Trade War

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In