CVS Caremark says 4Q Profit Grew 17%

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NEW YORK – CVS Caremark Corp. says its profit rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter because of improved results for its drugstores.

The Woonsocket, R.I.-drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager said Thursday it earned $949.3 million, or 65 cents per share, up from $811.2 million, or 55 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding items, profit grew to 70 cents per share from 58 cents per share. Revenue rose 10 percent, to $24.14 billion from $21.94 billion.

Thomson Reuters says analysts expected 69 cents per share and $23.29 billion in revenue.

CVS says drugstore revenue grew 19 percent to $13.83 billion. Pharmacy services revenue edged up 2 percent to $11.78 billion.

CVS had 6,923 retail pharmacies at the end of the quarter after buying 529 Longs Drugs stores.