CVS reports strong Q1 results, buoyed by pharmacy, insurer revenue

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CVS reported strong financial results May 4, driven by increases in its pharmacy services and healthcare benefits segments. 

The retail pharmacy chain's total revenue rose to $69.1 billion, a 3.5 percent increase over the prior year. Its adjusted earnings per share were $2.04. 

For its pharmacy services segment, total revenue increased 3.8 percent, and its adjusted operating income increased 27.6 percent.

The number of total pharmacy claims processed decreased by 1 percent on a 30-day equivalent basis for the three months ending March 31 compared to the previous year, which CVS attributed to a weak cough, cold and flu season. 

For the healthcare benefits segment, total revenue increased 6.7 percent, and adjusted operating income increased 19.5 percent. The company said it gained 214,000 new members since Dec. 31. 

CVS said its retail business was down year-over-year due to the strong increase in demand in March 2020, when many people stocked up on health products at the start of the pandemic. The company also cited continued reimbursement pressure and the impact of recent generic drug introductions.

Same-store sales across its pharmacy and front of the store items, such as snacks and other consumables, combined were up just 0.4 percent compared to a 9 percent growth last year, CNBC reported. Same-store sales for front of the store items fell 11.4 percent.

But CVS's overall revenue got a boost from COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. 

Read the full financial results here

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