CVS Earnings Beat Estimates, Boosted by COVID Testing and Vaccinations

CVS Health
Philip Lange /

CVS (NYSE: CVS) reported its fourth-quarter earnings today and beat both earnings-per-share and revenue estimates. Performance was boosted by COVID testing and vaccinations.

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The company reported EPS of $1.30 and revenue of $69.55 billion, according to the earnings statement, compared to estimates of $1.24 per share on sales of and revenue of $68.75 billion, according to Benzinga.

Total revenues increased 6.6% and 5.3% for the three months and year ended December 31, 2020, respectively, compared to the prior year, primarily driven by increased prescription volume, COVID-19 diagnostic testing and brand inflation, according to the statement. Revenue from the COVID-19 diagnostic testing program totaled approximately $400 million in the fourth quarter.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to our business and to the entire healthcare industry,” CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch said in the earnings statement. “We utilized the full depth and breadth of our capabilities and our presence in local communities across the country, to play a leadership role in COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration. Our ability to deliver 2020 full-year results above expectations is a testament to the strength of our strategy and the flexibility of our diversified health services model.”

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CVS said it has administered approximately 15 million COVID-19 tests nationwide to date at more than 4,800 of its pharmacy locations “with over 50% located in communities with significant need for support according to the CDC Social Vulnerability Index,” the statement said.

“We are grateful for the dedication of our nearly 300,000 colleagues, many serving on the frontlines, who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our fellow Americans,” Lynch added in the statement.

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In addition, CVS has administered more than three million COVID-19 vaccines in over 40,000 long-term care facilities across the country.

CVS also said it began its initial rollout of in-store vaccinations at its pharmacy locations in 11 states and opened 11 testing sites serving communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

In terms of its 2021 financial guidance, CVS expects EPS ranging from $6.06 to $6.22, and full-year cash flow from operations is projected at $12 billion to $12.5 billion. The company also said it expects the first quarter to be its lowest earnings quarter for the year.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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