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CVS Caremark’s 4Q profit rises 6 percent

CVS Caremark’s income was up 6 percent last quarter.

Associated Press

CVS Caremark’s income was up 6 percent last quarter.

CVS Caremark’s fourth-quarter earnings climbed 6 percent as new customers and Medicare prescription drug plans helped its pharmacy benefits management business, and revenue from the chain’s established drugstores grew.

The Woonsocket, R.I., company said it earned $1.13 billion, or 90 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with earnings of $1.06 billion, or 81 cents, in the same period in 2011.

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Adjusted earnings were $1.14 per share, while revenue climbed nearly 11 percent to $31.39 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.10 per share on $31.14.

CVS Caremark Corp. runs the second-largest US drugstore chain, after Walgreen Co., and is one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits managers.

The shares fell 48 cents to $51.24 Wednesday.

Revenue grew more than 17 percent from its pharmacy benefits management side.

Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, run prescription drug plans for employers, insurers, and other customers.

The company also said it now expects 2013 adjusted earnings of $3.86 to $4 per share, a two-cent increase from its previous forecast.

CVS runs 7,458 drugstores in the United States.

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