CVS Caremark Earnings Preview: Generics And Front Store Sales Can Lift Margins

by Trefis Team
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CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) will be releasing its first quarter earnings for the fiscal 2013 on May 1. The company delivered strong results for FY 2012, the net revenues grew by $16 billion over 2011 revenues, to reach $123 billion. This was supported by a growth of 24.7% and 6.8% in Pharmacy Services Segment revenues and Retail Pharmacy Segment revenues respectively. [1]

As per our estimates, the Retail Pharmacy segment contributes two-thirds of the stock’s value. This segment reported a gross profit margin of 30% for the year 2012, up from 29.3% in 2011. However, the gross margin in Pharmacy Services segment, which contributes 34% to the stock’s value, fell from 5.6% to 5.2% in 2012. Going forward, we estimate the margins in this segment to remain under pressure owing to increased pressure from third-party payers to reduce reimbursement payments for prescriptions. Although, the increased substitution of generic drugs over branded products have increased the margins, they have been partially offset by passing on the savings to the plan subscribers. The total generic dispensing rate, which implies the percentage of generic drugs in a consumer’s prescription, grew to 78.5% in 2012, from 74.1% and 71.5% in 2011 and 2010, respectively. We estimate the substitution of generic drugs to continue albeit at a slightly slower pace.

View our detailed analysis for CVS Caremark

Retail Pharmacy Segment To Increase Overall Revenues

Retail pharmacy revenues, which includes the front store sales, contributed about $63 billion out of the total $123 billion revenues for CVS Caremark. Prescription revenues represented more than two-thirds while front store sales represented about a third of the total retail pharmacy revenues. [1]

We estimate that the prescription revenues will continue to increase in the first quarter due to favorable industry trends, which include an aging U.S. population consuming a greater number of prescription drugs and the increased impact of Affordable Care Act, which has provided coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that within the next two decades the proportion of total population over 65 years will increase from 13% to 19%, whereas the population between the ages of 20 years and 65 will decline from 60% to 55%. An aging population combined with the fact that older people contribute to a larger proportion of expenditure on drugs, will lead to an increase in the prescription drugs market.

Generics, Private Labels And Front Store Sales To Boost Margins

Front Store sales of $20 billion coupled with a high gross profit margin contributes significantly to the overall profitability of the company. It also results in an increased customer traffic across stores and helps maintain customer stickiness. Front store same store sales rose 5.1% in 2012 over the prior year, and we estimate it to increase going ahead, supported by a solid ExtraCare®­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ customer loyalty program, which enables CVS Caremark’s customers to earn points and redeem it against discounts/products.

The company also carries over 4,600 private label products which normally have a higher gross margin than other branded goods. These private labels represented about 18% of its front store revenues. In addition to this, the company has been increasingly substituting generic drugs in place of branded drugs, which has helped it to improve overall margins. The gross profits increased by 9.4% for the year 2012, and stood at $19.1 billion, as compared to $17.5 billion for 2011. [1]

We will revise our $53 Trefis price estimate for CVS Caremark after the earnings release.

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Notes:
  1. 2012 Annual Report [] [] []
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  • commented 1 years ago
  • tags: WMT CVS WAG RAD
  • I don't approve of generic brand drugs and believe we should go back to the major pharma companies that made the drug originally. Generic drugs have been proven to never have the correct concentration....many times the drug is not made in the intended dose, as specified on the bottle. Many times a generic drug may only be at 70 or 80% concentration. The reason for this is that the FDA does not regulate the generic companies, as they DO regulate the major pharmaceutical companies and an error, deliberate or not, could never be made.