CVS’s Aetna Unit Gets Big Boost From Utilization Decline

While Aetna is just one part of CVS Health Corp.’s massive health care enterprise, it was disproportionately responsible for the company’s strong financial performance during the second quarter of 2020, thanks to the effects of COVID-19.

CVS’s quarterly adjusted earnings per share of $2.64 easily beat the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.91, and its adjusted EPS increased nearly 40% compared with the second quarter of 2019. The majority of that earnings growth was attributable to the firm’s health care benefits segment — housing its Aetna business unit — “which saw an unprecedented decline in utilization due to the pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Eva Boratto said during the company’s Aug. 5 earnings call.

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Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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