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CVS Finishes 2020 With $268.7B in Revenues, Guidance Projects Growth in 2021

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   February 16, 2021

Despite seeing year-over-year increases for its full year metrics, CVS saw declines in operating income, net income, and adjusted earnings per share in Q4.

CVS Health reported full year total revenues of $268.7 billion, up nearly $12 billion year-over-year, according to the company's latest earnings report released Tuesday morning.

For 2020, CVS' operating income rose to $13.9 billion, net income was just shy of $7.2 billion, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations and adjusted EPS increased as well.

Yet despite seeing year-over-year increases for its full year metrics, CVS saw declines in operating income, net income, and adjusted earnings per share in Q4.

Opertating income fell by $513 million, net income slid by $769 million, and adjusted EPS declined by $0.43.

The earnings report was released two weeks after Karen Lynch, who previously served as executive vice president of CVS and president of Aetna, succeeded longtime CEO Larry Merlo.

Related: CVS Revenues Top $67B, CEO Merlo to Retire in 2021

C-suite Perspective:

"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," Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS, said in a statement. "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."

CVS' earnings report comes as the U.S. continues to fine-tune the troubled rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. CVS was selected as a national partner for the Federal Pharmacy Program and rolled out in-store vaccinations across 11 states.

According to the company, CVS has administered more than 3 million vaccines in more than 40,000 long-term care facilities.

For the full year, CVS reported Retail/LTC segment revenues of $91.1 billion, a $4.5 billion year-over-year increase, though the segment's operating income slid $153 million over the same period.

Related: CVS and Walgreens Under Fire for Slow Pace of Vaccination in Nursing Homes

As part of CVS' response to the ongoing challenges related to the pandemic, waivers for out-of-pocket costs associated with inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19 were extended for commercial members through January 31, 2021, and through March 31, 2021, for Medicare Advantage members.

Looking ahead, CVS projected growth for 2021, with an EPS from continuing operations in the range of $6.06 to $6.22, along with an adjusted EPS between $7.39 to $7.55.

Additionally, CVS's outlook included full year cash flow from operations in the range of $12 billion to $12.5 billion.

Related: Montgomery Named President of CVS Pharmacy Retail

For complete financial information, review CVS Health's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

Photo credit: KIEV, UKRAINE - February 10, 2021: In this photo illustration the stock market information of CVS Health Corporation displays on a smartphone while the logo of CVS Health Corporation / Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov /

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