CVS Gains on Higher Dividend, $10-Billion Share Buyback

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CVS Gains on Higher Dividend, $10-Billion Share Buyback
Credit: © Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – CVS Health stock (NYSE: CVS ) traded 2.4% higher in Thursday’s premarket as the company promised to return more money to shareholders through higher dividends and a $10 billion buyback.

The pharmacy chain also said it will meet the top end -- $290.3 billion -- of its current-year revenue estimates at the very least. Similarly, it expects to hit the high end of the adjusted EPS guidance too ($8) for the year while it held out hope of exceeding it.

The company is holding its 2021 Investor Day today and issued a statement ahead of it. CVS’s optimistic outlook comes amid a record period for the chain and its rivals including Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA ), all of whom have benefited from the Covid-19 fallout and concerns around health arising out of the pandemic.

The company also initiated guidance for the next year, projecting revenue of around $309 billion. 

It guided for adjusted earnings per share of $8.20 at midpoint of the range for the next financial year.

As part of its long-term growth trajectory, CVS is targeting a return to low double-digit adjusted EPS growth in 2024.

The company said it will increase its yearly dividend by 10% to $2.20, effective with the next dividend distribution on February 1.

Last month, the company said it will shut 900 stores over three years under its plan to shift to digital.

The company plans to turn some of its pharmacies into units that offer a range of medical services, from administering shots to conducting tests.

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