CVS Caremark's Profits Up in Q4 2008

CVS Caremark Corp. announced its profit rose 17% in the fourth quarter 2008 as a result of store sales. Earnings of $949.3 million, or 65 cents per share, were up from $811.2 million a year ago. Revenue rose 10%, to $24.14 billion from $21.94 billion, beating some analysts expectations. CVS's drugstore revenue grew 19% to $13.83 billion. Same-store sales, sales at locations open at least one year, grew 3.6% for the quarter, despite a slowdown in December.

CVS had 6,923 retail pharmacies at the end of the quarter, including the addition of 529 Longs Drugs stores. The company opened 52 new retail pharmacies, relocated seven and closed six. The company also operates 58 specialty pharmacies, 19 specialty mail order pharmacies and seven mail order pharmacies.

In November 2008, CVS announced the launch of Beauty 360, an upscale retail concept focused on customer-centric consultations and services from trained and licensed professionals and expected to "redefine the beauty shopping experience by providing customers with access to prestige and niche beauty brands as well as an unparalleled level of service.”

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