US: Retailer Results Roundup (CVS Health, Albertsons, Publix, Smart & Final)

CVS Health, Albertsons, and Smart & Final have all reported solid growth for their most recent fiscal quarters.

CVS saw its second-quarter net revenue grow by 17.6% to $43.7bn, the fourth straight quarter it has grown by double digits.  Net profit was down 27.4% to $924m, but underlying profit figures topped analysts’ estimates.

The drugstore giant said it was helped by strong demand for its pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services, but its retail pharmacies reported lower customer traffic, resulting in lower LFL sales for front-end merchandise. Overall pharmacy revenue was up 20.7% to $5.1bn.

The company also raised its forecast for full-year adjusted earnings to $5.81-$5.89 per share, from $5.73-$5.88 earlier.

Albertsons Cos. saw its first quarter sales rise by 1.9% to $18.4bn, with like-for-like sales up 2.9%.  The company reported a $134m loss for the period ($43m loss on a pro-forma basis), although this had narrowed from last year’s $153m loss.

Publix Super Markets saw its second-quarter sales grow by 2.1% to $8.1bn, with LFL sales up 1.1%.  Net profit, however, declined by 0.9% to $478.2m. Publix said it was affected by lower tourism in some markets, and the shift in Easter.

Smart & Final Stores saw its second-quarter net profit drop by 29.3% to $7.8m, although sales were up 14.7% to $1bn.  The warehouse chain was helped by the addition of 33 acquired stores, although it reported a 0.3% decline in LFL sales, and a 0.7% decline in the average ticket spend.

The banner said it expects further cannibalisation from existing stores, adding that deflation will “remain challenging” during the second half of the year.