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Why CVS Health Is Moving Higher Today

By Brian Feroldi – May 1, 2019 at 3:56PM

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Traders cheered when the healthcare conglomerate reported better-than-expected earnings and raised guidance.

What happened

In response to the company reporting upbeat first-quarter earnings results and boosting guidance, shares of healthcare giant CVS Health (CVS 1.69%) rose 6% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

So what

Here's a look at the headline numbers that have traders feeling giddy:

  • Revenue jumped 35% to $61.6 billion. The eye-popping growth is largely attributable to the purchase of Aetna. This figure was a bit higher than what Wall Street had expected.
  • GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) operating income grew 35% to $2.7 billion.
  • Adjusted earnings per share grew 9% to $1.62. This number was much higher than the $1.50 in adjusted EPS that traders had predicted.

The upbeat results allowed management to revise its guidance for the full year:

  • GAAP operating income is now expected to land between $11.8 billion and $12 billion. This is a narrowing of the prior range of $11.7 billion to $12.1 billion.
  • Adjusted operating income is now expected to come in between $15 billion and $15.2 billion. The midpoint of this range is $100 million higher than the company's previous estimate.
  • GAAP EPS is expected to land between $4.90 and $5.05.
  • Adjusted EPS is now predicted to be between $6.75 and $6.90. The midpoint of this range is about $0.05 higher than previous guidance.

Traders are cheering the better-than-expected quarterly results and revised guidance.

A group of businesspeople with their thumbs up

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Today's pop should provide some relief to CVS Health's long-suffering bulls. This company's stock has been in steady decline since the middle of 2015, and has fallen by double digits since the start of the year. That's a bitter pill to swallow, considering that the S&P 500 has been pushing higher over the same time frame.

CVS Health's management team promised that the acquisition of Aetna would help drive sustainable profit growth over the long term. Now that the deal is done, it's up to management to deliver on those promises. This earnings report is certainly a good start, but there's still a long road ahead if the company hopes to one day get back to hitting all-time highs.

Brian Feroldi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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