WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark executives expressed optimism Wednesday morning as the company posted record fourth-quarter results, raised its 2013 guidance and continues to work to leverage its distinctive business model to help people on their path to better health amid a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
“We are very pleased with the strong results we posted in the fourth quarter and full year 2012 with solid performance throughout the enterprise,” CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo told analysts during Wednesday morning’s conference call. ... Our fourth-quarter results reflect strong performances at the high end of our expectations in both the [pharmacy benefit management] and retail segments.”
The quarter exceeded the high end of the company’s guidance by 3 cents per share.
Net revenues for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 increased 10.9%, to $31.4 billion, up from $28.3 billion in the three months ended in the year-ago period.
Income from continuing operations attributable to CVS Caremark for the quarter increased 2.7% to $1.13 billion, compared with $1.10 billion during the year-ago period.
During the call, CVS Caremark told analysts that late last week it closed on the acquisition of privately held Brazilian drug store chain Onofre. Merlo said the acquisition of the 44 stores is not financially material to CVS Caremark; however, it does mark CVS Caremark’s foray into the international drug store space.
“As you know, we have been exploring opportunities for possible international expansion, and we have said many times that our approach would be measured and we would exercise financial discipline,” Merlo said. “We believe this acquisition is a great example of that strategy and action.”
According to Merlo, Onofre has a strong reputation in the marketplace and is successful in tailoring its stores to market to different customer segments.
“We view Brazil as an attractive market given that health care and pharmacy are expected to grow double digits for the next decade, and while chains are prevalent, it is still a highly fragmented market. So, we see nice opportunities to grow the business over time,” Merlo said.
It has been reported in published reports that Onofre is the eighth-largest drug store chain in Brazil in terms of revenues, posti