People walk past a CVS drug store in Manhattan, New York.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

CVS Health’s fourth quarter earnings exceeded Wall Street’s expectations as pharmacy sales increased from the provision of Covid-19 tests and vaccines.

The company’s shares rose slightly in premarket trading.

The company reported for the fourth fiscal quarter ended December 31, versus analyst expectations, based on an analyst survey conducted by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $ 1.30, adjusted versus expected $ 1.24
  • Revenue: $ 69.55 billion versus $ 68.75 billion expected

The drugstore chain posted net income of $ 975 million, or 75 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $ 1.74 billion or $ 1.33 per share a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $ 1.30 per share, beating the analysts polled by Refinitiv, which was forecasting $ 1.24 per share.

Revenue rose from $ 66.89 billion a year ago to $ 69.55 billion. According to Refinitiv, this is above analysts’ expectations of $ 68.75 billion.

CVS offers Covid-19 tests in many of its branches. The company said it ran around 15 million tests across the country. More than 3 million Covid vaccines have also been administered in over 40,000 long-term care facilities. The drugstore chain and its competitor Walgreens signed a contract with the federal government in October to give employees and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities the opportunity. In December, vaccinations began in the facilities.

CVS is now assuming an expanded role in providing Covid vaccines in its branches. Last week, the federal government shipped cans direct to pharmacy retail stores – including CVS stores in 11 states.

At the close of trading on Friday, CVS shares were up less than 1% over the past year. The company’s stock, valued at $ 97.13 billion, hit a 52-week high of $ 77.23 in mid-January. It closed at $ 74.21 on Friday.

This story evolves and is updated.