Drugstore CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) is a lot bigger than the small state that houses its headquarters.
Almost 50 years ago, brothers Stanley and Sidney Goldstein and partner Ralph Hoagland founded the first CVS, which only sold health and beauty products, in Massachusetts. A few years later, the pharmacy departments that CVS is now known for debuted just south in Warwick and Cumberland, R.I. The company merged with Caremark Rx in 2007, and today has more than 7,000 retail stores, plus numerous pharmacies and health care clinics across the nation.
And that’s not all. CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the U.S., the No. 1 provider of prescriptions and the No. 1 specialty pharmacy. In 2011, it was ranked No. 21 on the Fortune 500.
The drugstore chain also is the largest employer of pharmacists and nurse practitioners in the country and has more than 200,000 total workers — 5,000 of those, including the company’s founders, call Rhode Island home. The headquarters alone, tucked in Woonsocket, R.I., right near the Massachusetts line, have hosted more than 1,500 employees for the past 13 years.
The company isn’t just dependable when it comes to health care, either. CVS Caremark has been, for the most part, steadily increasing its dividend since 1997.
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Alyssa Oursler is an Editorial Assistant at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, she did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.