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CVS Health Q4 Results Top Estimates

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CVS Health Corp. (CVS) reported on Wednesday a profit for the fourth quarter that declined 44 percent from last year, hurt by higher benefit costs and expenses, despite a 4 percent revenue growth. Both adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations and quarterly revenues topped analysts' expectations. The company also initiated earnings and adjusted earnings guidance for the full-year 2021.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income attributable to the company of $973 million or $0.74 per share, sharply lower than $1.75 billion or $1.33 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted income from continuing operations attributable to the company for the quarter was $1.71 billion or $1.30 per share, compared to $2.27 billion or $1.73 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.24 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenues for the quarter grew 4.0 percent to $69.55 billion from $66.89 billion in the same quarter last year, primarily driven by growth in the Health Care Benefits and Retail/LTC segments. Analysts expected revenues of $68.75 billion for the quarter.

The Pharmacy Services segment revenues declined 1.9 percent to $36.36 billion from $37.07 billion, while Retail/LTC segment revenues grew 6.6 percent to $24.06 billion from $22.58 billion and Health Care Benefits segment revenues increased 11.4 percent to $19.10 billion from $17.15 billion from last year.

Looking ahead for 2021, the company expects earnings from continuing operations in range of $6.06 to $6.22 per share, and adjusted earnings in a range of $7.39 to $7.55 per share. Analysts expect annual earnings of $7.54 per share.

CVS Health is in the process of administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible people after inking a public-private Pharmacy Partnership with the U.S. government to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to protect vulnerable American residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs.

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