Shares of CVS soar to a 3 1/2-year high

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press/File 2011
CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., said it may earn $3.15 to $3.25 a share in 2012, not including possible benefits from a contract dispute between Walgreen and Express Scripts.

CVS Caremark Corp. rose to its highest price since July 2008. The drugstore chain, the largest US distributor of prescription drugs, boosted its quarterly dividend to 16.25 cents a share, from 12.5 cents. It also said the end of Walgreen Co.’s agreement to provide drugs for Express Scripts customers may give it as many as 23 million prescription sales and boost profit as much as 11 cents a share next year.