CVS sees profit, revenue boost in first full quarter of combined operations with Aetna

CVS Health reported a profit boost and higher revenues in its first full quarter of combined operations with Aetna.

The company earned $1.4 billion in net income in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $998 million in the same period of 2018, an increase of 43%, according to its latest earnings data.

The main driving factor was higher operating incomes as a result of the integration with Aetna, though that also led to higher expenses.

Revenues were up notably from the first quarter of 2018, CVS reported, also driven by the Aetna deal. Revenues increased by 34.8% to nearly $61.7 billion.

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CEO Larry Merlo said in the announcement that the first quarter combined with Aetna was a success in "many ways" and also highlighted CVS' new primary care concept stores.

"With our differentiated collection of health care assets we are uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of the U.S. health care system," Merlo said. "We remain relentlessly focused on creating value for clients and customers while driving both near and longer-term returns for our shareholders."

Though CVS and Aetna have been allowed to integrate their assets, the specter of a federal judge does linger over the deal. A District of Columbia judge is currently reviewing the merger and will allow hearings in the case.

Amid the financial increase, CVS has slightly boosted its 2019 forecasts. It raised projected earnings per share from between $6.68 and $6.88 to between $6.75 and $6.90.