CVS raises 2021 profit view as COVID-19 vaccines, tests drive retail strength

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Shares in the drugstore chain operator were up nearly 2% at $107 in early trading.

The company said it now expects adjusted profit per share for 2021 in the range of $8.33 to $8.38, up from a prior forecast of $8.00.

Higher-than-expected coronavirus vaccinations in November and December, as well as elevated demand for over-the-counter COVID-19 testing in the last month of 2021, helped with a strong retail segment performance, CVS said.

Rival Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) Inc last week raised its full-year adjusted profit growth forecast on the back of similar comments.

CVS also said its health insurance unit performed better than expected despite higher coronavirus cases, particularly in the back half of the fourth quarter, as deferred elective procedures offset higher COVID-19 costs.

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