How CVS Health Is Crushing It After Q1 Earnings

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) released its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company said that it had $1.62 in earnings per share (EPS) and $61.6 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates calling for $1.50 in EPS and revenue of $60.39 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS $1.48 on $45.69 billion in revenue.

For the most recent quarter, revenue increased by 34.8%, primarily driven by the Aetna acquisition, as well as increased volume and brand name drug price inflation in both the Pharmacy Services and Retail/LTC segments.

The Pharmacy Services segment revenues increased 3.1%, due primarily to brand name drug price inflation and increased total pharmacy claims volume.

The Retail/LTC segment revenues increased by 3.3%, driven by increased prescription volume and brand name drug price inflation.

Total Health Care Benefits revenue increased by $16.6 billion compared to the prior year primarily due to the Aetna acquisition.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, CVS expects to see EPS in the range of $1.68 to $1.72. Consensus estimates call for $1.67 in EPS and $62.52 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Larry Merlo, president and CEO, commented:

We generated strong first quarter results, providing positive momentum to start the year. Following the close of our Aetna acquisition in late November, our first full quarter of combined operations was a success in many ways. In the quarter we continued to advance our integration efforts while beginning to launch new innovations such as our HealthHUB concept stores. With our differentiated collection of health care assets we are uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of the U.S. health care system. We remain relentlessly focused on creating value for clients and customers while driving both near and longer-term returns for our shareholders.

Shares of CVS closed Tuesday at $54.38, in a 52-week range of $51.77 to $82.15. The consensus price target is $70.71. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 6% at $57.59 in early trading indications Wednesday.