CVS Health beats 4Q expectations, 2019 forecast falls short

FILE- In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo a CVS Pharmacy building sign rests on a Jackson, Miss., store. CVS Health Corp. reports financial results Wedne

FILE- In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo a CVS Pharmacy building sign rests on a Jackson, Miss., store. CVS Health Corp. reports financial results Wedne

CVS Health is topping fourth-quarter earnings forecasts, but the annual outlook from the nation's second-largest drugstore chain is far short of Wall Street expectations.

The company said Wednesday that it expects adjusted earnings to range between $6.68 and $6.88 this year. FactSet says analysts expect earnings of $7.35 per share.

In the final quarter of 2018, CVS Health posted adjusted earnings of $2.14 per share, as revenue jumped more than 12 percent to $54.24 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $2.09 per share and $54.61 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

CVS Health Corp., based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, runs more than 9,900 retail locations and processes over a billion prescriptions annually as a pharmacy benefit manager.

It also has largely completed a roughly $69-billion acquisition of the insurer Aetna.