CVS Health Tuesday raised its full-year earnings outlook as the drugstore chain’s customers race to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or tested for the virus as the Omicron variant surges across the U.S.
In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission ahead of CVS management’s appearance at the virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the drugstore giant said it has raised its full year 2021 diluted earnings per share guidance “range to $5.87 to $5.92 from $5.50 to $5.61 and raised its full year 2021 adjusted earnings per share guidance range to $8.33 to $8.38 from at least $8.00.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a turbulent period for drugstore chains like CVS and rival Walgreens as they battled government shutdowns early on through 2020 and customers who didn’t want to leave their homes.
But lately pharmacy chains are on a roll in late 2021 into this year with customers seeking tests, vaccines and other health items in drugstores. CVS stock has been near or above a 52-week high and Walgreens last week reported net income of $3.58 billion in its first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2021, or $4.13 compared to a loss of $308 million, or 36 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.
CVS, which reports its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 earnings in early February, said Tuesday during its presentation at the J.P. Morgan event that it has administered about 59 million vaccines and 32 million Covid tests as of the end of last year.
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