CVS take on 2021 gets rosier, profit jumps 11%

CVS Health beat Wall Street expectations and after releasing projections earlier this year that disappointed analysts, a new outlook Tuesday exceeds those levels

But sales in both the company’s drugstores and from its pharmacy benefits management business were trimmed by the weak cough, cold and flu season, which was brought on in part by mask wearing and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugstores also faced a tough sales comparison to last year’s first quarter, when customers stocked up on pharmacy supplies as the pandemic set in.

Overall, CVS Health said its net income jumped nearly 11% to $2.22 billion in the quarter that ended March 31. Earnings adjusted for one-time gains and costs totaled $2.04 per share, and revenue grew more than 3% to $69.1 billion.

That easily beat average expectations of $1.72 per share in earnings on $68.44 billion in revenue, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

CVS Health started 2021 with an earnings forecast that largely fell short of Wall Street expectations. But it said Tuesday that it now expects adjusted per-share earnings to range from $7.56 to $7.68 in 2021.

Analysts are looking for $7.53 per share, on average, according to a survey by FactSet.

Shares of Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health Corp. rose nearly 3% before the opening bell.



A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CVS at