CVS Beats Out Expectations in Q4 Earnings Report, Pushing Company Stock up in Pre-Market Trading

By Thomas Price Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Following a year fraught with heightened concerns over public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CVS Health reported strong Q4 earnings as the company began taking on a larger role in testing and vaccine rollout. The Q4 report from the company showed a rise in business higher than analyst expectations pushing the drugstore chain stock up in pre-market trading. Outlook for 2021 remains optimistic as well, with business looking to continue on a strong path as earnings per share predictions also stand incredibly high.

CVS Pharmacy storefront.

CVS Health’s Q4 Results vs. Expectations

Drugstore company CVS Health posted a positive Q4 report this morning as revenues topped out at $69.55 billion. This beat out Wall Street expectations by nearly a full $1 billion as predictions sat at $68.75 billion. In fact, CVS posted a total revenue in 2020 of $268.7 billion, which is a 4.6% rise in comparison to 2019, signaling company growth even amongst the economic downturn. In terms of earnings per share, the company again beat expectations, posting earnings per share of $1.30 — up $0.06 from analyst projections of $1.24 per share.

Much of the increase in revenue has come from growth in business in both the retail and health care benefits segments. The company posted a 6.6% growth in retail revenues in Q4 compared to the same quarter in 2019, while the health care benefits segment saw an 11.4% rise when comparing the same time period.

Another major source of growth for the business has come from the pharmaceutical world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering testing at store locations, the company has administered over 15 million COVID-19 tests across the United States, and now that vaccine rollout has begun, the business looks to play an even larger part. While CVS Health has already administered 3 million vaccines, the federal government has enlisted their help, along with competing pharmacy business Walgreens, to take on more supply distribution, with doses of the vaccine being shipped directly to 11 CVS locations already.

CVS Health Outlook for 2021 and Bump in Stocks

CVS Health has also remained optimistic for 2021, with the full year guidance in its business press release noting an expected adjusted earnings per share between $7.39 and $7.55. A strong Q4 report coupled with optimism about 2021 has helped the business to pique the interest of several investors as shares of the company are up over 1% in pre-market trading.

In a statement released with the company’s Q4 report, CVS President and CEO Karen S. Lynch said, “The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to our business and to the entire health care industry. We utilized the full depth and breadth of our capabilities and our presence in local communities across the country to play a leadership role in COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration. Our ability to deliver 2020 full year results above expectations is a testament to the strength of our strategy and the flexibility of our diversified health services model.”

About the Author


Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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