CVS posts strong 4th quarter numbers, but pandemic weighs on results

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS is reporting surprisingly strong profit and revenue numbers for the fourth quarter, though the pandemic dragged adjusted operating income down by 21.8%.

Surging infections in the U.S. negatively affected the drugstore chain’s retail and benefits segments for the quarter that ended on Dec. 31. That was offset somewhat by a strong performance at the pharmacy counter.

The company today reported net income of $973 million. Per-share earnings were 74 cents, but $1.30 when adjusted for one-time gains and costs.

That’s six cents better per-share than Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was $69.55 billion, also beating analyst projections handily.

CVS Health expects full-year earnings in the range of $7.39 to $7.55 per share. Wall Street is looking for an average of $7.54 for 2021.

Shares are up less than 2% before the opening bell.