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

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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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