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CVS Posts Strong Q4, Full-Year Earnings

By Daniel B. Kline – Feb 13, 2020 at 11:22AM

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The company has shifted its business model successfully.

It's so far, so good for the CVS Health (CVS -1.48%) acquisition of Aetna. That move was part of a broader effort by the company to put its focus squarely on health.

Total fourth-quarter revenue came in at $66.9, a 22.9% increase over the previous year while Q4 earnings per share were $1.73. Full-year revenue was up 32% at $256.8 billion while EPS was $7.08 and the company paid off $4.7 billion in long-term debt.

"As we work to transform the way healthcare is delivered to millions of Americans, we are driving continued business performance and generating positive momentum across the enterprise," said CEO Larry Merlo in a press release.

The exterior of a CVS HealthHUB

CVS has changed its business focus. Image source: CVS.

Aetna deal is paying off

CVS paid $69 billion for Aetna back in late 2018 and the move was not considered a slam dunk. The companies were in adjacent space but were very different businesses. The move seems to be working out as the company said its 2019 revenue growth was primarily due to the Aetna purchase.

In its pivot to focusing on health CVS has made a number of changes including getting rid of cigarettes in its stores. It has also added HealthHub locations -- a sort of expanded version of a walk-in clinic -- to some locations with plans to grow that part of the business.

A difficult path

Companies rarely make major pivots in strategy without any sort of stumble.  So far, CVS has avoided that and it looks like its decision to radically alter its business will pay long-term dividends for investors.

Daniel B. Kline 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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