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CVS Well being will increase earnings steerage for 2020 as its plan to supply a variety of medical companies pays off

A CVS pharmacy store is located in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

CVS Health reported a better-than-expected sales jump of 3.5% in the third quarter and raised its profit guidance for 2020 on Friday as its plan to transform the drugstore chain into a healthcare services company pays off.

The healthcare company offered everything from insurance to Covid-19 testing and also appointed a new CEO. Karen Lynch will become CEO of the company on February 1st. She is currently Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of Aetna, the health insurer that CVS acquired in 2018.

The company's longtime CEO, Larry Merlo, will step down but serve on CVS 'board of directors.

In pre-market trading, stocks rose by around 3%.

Here's how the company reported for the quarter ended September 30, versus analyst expectations based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

Adjusted earnings per share: $ 1.66 adjusted versus $ 1.33 expected Revenue: $ 67.06 billion versus $ 66.66 billion expected

On an unadjusted basis, the healthcare company and drugstore chain reported net income of $ 1.22 billion, or 93 cents per share, for the third quarter, compared to $ 1.53 billion or $ 1.17 per share a year earlier.

Revenue increased 3.5% from $ 64.81 billion a year ago to $ 67.06 billion. It also surpassed what analysts had expected to be $ 66.66 billion.

At the company's drugstores, sales increased both in the pharmacy and at the front of the store as customers filled out more prescriptions, received Covid-19 tests, and filled larger baskets of over-the-counter items.

The number of prescriptions prescribed rose 30 days year over year to 4.6% in the quarter. Front store sales increased 2.7% year over year for the quarter.

CVS increased its guidance for full year earnings per share from $ 5.16 to $ 5.29 to $ 5.60 to $ 5.70 and its guidance for adjusted earnings per share for full year 2020 to $ 7.14 to $ 7.27 to $ 7.35 to $ 7.45.

Cash flow for the full year would be between $ 12.75 and $ 13.25 billion, above the previous outlook of between $ 11 and $ 11.5 billion.

The company warned that there are still uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

CVS has expanded Covid-19 testing, got flu shots and prepared for the coronavirus vaccine launch during the pandemic. The company has more than 4,000 drive-through checkpoints in its pharmacies and has performed more than 6 million tests. The company plans to have nearly 1,000 rapid test sites by the end of the year.

In mid-October, CVS and its rival Walgreens announced a contract with the government to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the elderly and long-term care workers as they become available.

Since March, CVS has hired approximately 76,000 full-time, part-time and temporary workers. It has around 300,000 employees.

Last month plans to hire even more workers. It said it would hire 15,000 people immediately – the majority are pharmacy technicians – to prepare for an expected increase in Covid-19 and flu cases this fall and winter.

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