Even though CVS Health had fewer customers buying products in the front of its brick-and-mortar stores, the pharmacy retailer posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. The company reported adjusted earnings-per-share of $1.69 and revenues of $46.7 billion compared to analysts’ estimates of $1.61 and $46.4 billion respectively, CNBC reported.
Through a statement, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said, "the strong revenue, adjusted EPS, gross and operating margins, along with cash flow generated in the quarter, were the direct result of our team's ability to increase prescription growth by expanding relationships with PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] and health plans, as well as our ongoing streamlining efforts and innovation.”
Revenue from the retailer’s pharmacy segment rose from 5.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago — boosted by an 8.3 percent jump in pharmacy revenue — and topped $20.7 billion. However, front-end sales revenue, which encompasses products such as household items and greeting cards, increased by only 0.2 percent.
At the same time, news surfaced that CVS Health seeks to offer a telemedicine health solution through a smartphone app for medical issues that are simpler to diagnose, USA TODAY reported. The service, which consumers will be able to use at all hours on the CVS Pharmacy app, is geared toward conditions such as wellness matters, colds and the flu.
To use the service, consumers fill out a questionnaire and are then connected with "a board-certified healthcare provider licensed in their state, who will review the completed questionnaire with the patient’s medical history, and proceed with the video-enabled visit." To pay for their visits, consumers can use their credit or debit cards. Overall, the service reflects a growing CVS MinuteClinic brand.
“At CVS Health, we’re committed to delivering high-quality care when and where our patients need it and at prices they can afford," CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan said in a statement. "Through this new tele-health offering, patients now have an additional option for seeking care that is even more convenient for them.”