It’s no exaggeration to say that Nov. 1 was the most important day of the entire year for pharmacy retailer CVS Health (NYSE:CVS). That’s because CVS stock shot higher as a result of a pair of notable news items.
Not only did CVS Health finally reach a settlement involving thousands of lawsuits, but the company also posted quarterly earnings results that weren’t perfect, but were good enough for some anxious investors.
The opioid crisis is one of America’s biggest health issues. There’s a financial cost, of course, but we can’t ignore the human toll that this crisis takes. Was CVS Health partially responsible for it, though?
This question has weighed on many people’s minds, but investors also had an additional question to consider: Will CVS Health end up footing a massive legal bill for the opioid problem? Investors hate uncertainty, so the good news is that there’s a resolution now – not necessarily for the larger opioid crisis, but at least for CVS Health’s near-term legal problems.
CVS Stock Heads Higher on a Double-Shot of News
If CVS stock is sometimes considered a “boring” stock, that myth was shattered on Nov. 1 and for the remainder of the week. Impressively, the share price gained around 5% during that time.
Could this upward trajectory continue? It’s certainly possible, now that CVS Health has resolved thousands of lawsuits pertaining to the U.S. opioid problem. If and when the terms and conditions are finalized, CVS Health will pay roughly $5 billion over the next decade, starting in 2023.
Hopefully, this will improve CVS Health’s reputation as a business that helps the community rather than harming it.
“We are committed to working with states, municipalities and tribes, and will continue our own important initiatives to help reduce the illegitimate use of prescription opioids,” commented Thomas Moriarty, chief policy officer and general counsel at CVS.
CVS Health’s Quarterly Results
Also on Nov. 1, CVS Health’s investors breathed a sigh of relief as the company issued third-quarter 2022 financial results that weren’t terrible. In a time when the economy is shaky, releasing “not terrible” results is actually a notable achievement.
This doesn’t mean that anyone needs to load the boat on CVS stock. The shares get a “B” rating, not an “A” rating, because CVS Health sustained a GAAP-measured, post-legal-settlement earnings loss in Q3. Investors should wait a while and check for further fiscal developments, therefore, before considering a bigger position.
Still, it’s commendable that CVS Health’s quarterly revenue of $81.16 billion beat Wall Street’s forecast of $76.74 billion. Moreover, CVS Health raised its full-year 2022 adjusted earnings per share or EPS guidance from a previous range of $8.40 to $8.60, to a new range of $8.55 to $8.65.
What You Can Do Now
It appears that the legal settlement threw a wrench into what might have been an excellent quarterly report for CVS Health. However, at least this episode is in the rearview mirror. Now, CVS Health can move on and improve its reputation.
Additionally, the company might be able to post a sizable profit in the fourth quarter. This remains to be seen, though. Still, for the time being, CVS Health’s shareholders can breathe a sign of relief. Meanwhile, if you don’t own any shares yet, it’s fine to consider a small position in CVS stock.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.