CVS Caremark's third-quarter net income climbed 25 percent in a performance that beat Wall Street expectations. The drugstore operator and pharmacy benefits manager also raised its 2013 earnings forecast.
The Woonsocket, R.I., company's shares then shot past the all-time high price they reached last month before markets opened Tuesday morning and after the company announced results.
CVS Caremark earned $1.25 billion, or $1.02 per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That compares with $1.01 billion, or 79 cents per share, last year. Revenue climbed nearly 6 percent to $31.97 billion.
Adjusted earnings totaled $1.05 per share.
Analysts expected $1.02 per share on about $31.52 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
CVS Caremark Corp. had 7,601 retail drugstores at the end of the quarter. It runs the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain behind Walgreen Co. and its Caremark unit also is one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs.
PBMs run prescription drug plans for employers, insurers and other customers. They process mail-order prescriptions and handle bills for prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies.
Revenue growth from both segments helped fuel results in the third quarter, as did a $72 million pretax gain from a legal settlement.
CVS Caremark now expects adjusted 2013 earnings to range between $3.98 and $4.01 per share after saying in August it expected $3.90 to $3.96 per share.
Analysts had forecast $3.95 per share.
Company shares climbed 2.5 percent, or $1.57 to $63.55 in premarket trading. The stock was already up 28 percent so far this year, as of Monday's close. Shares hit an all-time high price of $62.90 on Oct. 22, according to FactSet.