CVS announces light December sales, still on course for top end of guidance

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that sales in December were lighter than the company expected due to unfavorable weather, a weak flu season and a wobbly economy.

However, Tom Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer, noted that “given favorable operating expenses and improved margins, we expect to report diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter 2007 in the range of 54 cents to 55 cents, and for the full year 2007 in the range of $1.91 to $1.92, at the high end of our previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.92.”

Same-store sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 increased 1.8 percent. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 2.4 percent, and were negatively impacted by about 470 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales rose 0.6 percent.

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