Health services division drives CVS through strong third quarter

A strong performance from the health services division of CVS on top of cost-cutting pushed third quarter profits and revenue above expectations.

While the drug store chain stuck to its adjusted per-share expectations for the year, it lowered guidance for adjusted earnings per share.

Revenue from the health services business, which includes pharmacy benefit management, rose 7.8% to $46.89 billion. The company said growth across across all product lines pushed total quarterly revenue up 10.6% to $89.76 billion, easily topping Wall Street expectations, according to a survey of analysts by Zacks Investment Research.

Overall net income was $2.26 billion, or $1.75 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $2.21 per share, also better than the $2.13 that Wall Street had expected.

CVS Health stuck to its full-year earnings guidance in the range of $8.50 to $8.70 per share, but lowered adjusted per-share earnings expectations to a range between $6.37 to $6.61, down from $6.53 to $6.75.

“Despite a challenging business environment, we continue adapting to the changing needs of our consumers by connecting our care delivery capabilities in communities across the country, broadening access to care and lowering costs,” CEO Karen Lynch said in a prepared statement.

Shares of CVS Health Corp., based in Woonsocket, R.I., were essentially flat before the opening bell today.