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CVS has Blockbuster Quarterly Earnings – Subscribers up 55% YTD

CVS Caremark Corp.’s (NYSE: CVS) third-quarter profit rose 16% on a strong performance for the company’s pharmacy-benefits-management business, while the drugstore chain also struck a bullish tone about clients it gained after a dispute between two rivals.  Overall, CVS Caremark reported a third-quarter profit of $1.01 billion, or 79 cents a share, up from $868 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding tax adjustments and other items, earnings rose to 85 cents from 70 cents. Revenue increased 13% to $30.23 billion.

Revenue in the larger pharmacy-services business soared 22% to $18.1 billion, aided by new clients added to the network during the 2012 PBM selling season, higher drug costs and growth in the Medicare Part D program.

CVS has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.  CVS has a dividend yield of 1.39%.

In the past 52 weeks, CVS shares are up 22.6%.  Subscribers to the Monthly Income Plan have a total return of 55% year to date by using a perpetual covered call strategy on CVS shares.

During the third quarter, CVS opened 45 new retail drugstores, closed 3 retail drugstores. Additionally, the company relocated 18 retail drugstores. At the end of the quarter, CVS operated 7,500 locations, which include 7,423 retail drugstores, 28 onsite pharmacies, 31 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 12 specialty mail order pharmacies and 6 mail order pharmacies in 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Anticipating a benefit from the company’s accelerated share repurchase program (announced in September 2012) and its expectation about retaining at least 60% of the prescriptions gained from the Walgreen and Express Scripts impasse, the company is raising and narrowing its guidance for 2012. The company now expects adjusted EPS of $3.38−$3.41 (earlier guidance being $3.32−$3.38).

In comparison, shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) were hit hard Tuesday in the wake of the pharmacy benefit manager calling analysts’ fiscal 2013 earnings projections “overly aggressive.”

Express Scripts dropped more than 12% to $55.15.

Late Monday, the company said a weak business climate and unemployment outlook would likely result in loss of some members, low use rates and higher demands from clients. Express Scripts didn’t offer a 2013 profit projection, saying only that it saw growth in two measures: earnings per share and earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization.

The company reported third-quarter results that came in slightly ahead of estimates on earnings, but fell below projections on sales. Net income for the period was $391.4 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with $324.7 million, or 66 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Sales were $27 billion against last year’s $11.6 billion, due to its acquisition of Medco Health Solutions.

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