2 Consumer Staples Stocks in Trading Spotlight Following Earnings Releases

CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for the drug store rose to $1.06 billion (81 cents per share) vs. $1.02 billion (75 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 15.2% to $28.32 billion from the year earlier quarter. CVS Caremark Corporation reported adjusted net income of 89 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell in line with the mean estimate of 89 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $28.09 billion.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Larry Merlo, said, “2011 was a year of great accomplishment for CVS Caremark. We executed successfully on a number of key initiatives across the Company and reported solid financial results, delivering on our promises. Our retail business continued to post strong top- and bottom-line results, and our PBM enjoyed strong revenue growth, another very successful selling season, and great progress on several important initiatives. These include the development of a number of unique, new integrated offerings as well as the streamlining initiative, which is expected to produce cumulative savings from 2011 through 2015 of more than $1 billion. We generated $4.6 billion in free cash for the year, exceeding our goal, and returned more than $3.5 billion to our shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.”

Competitors to Watch: Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), PharMerica Corporation (NYSE:PMC), Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MHS), drugstore.com, inc. (NASDAQ:DSCM), PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Graymark Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ:GRMH), BioScrip Inc. (NASDAQ:BIOS)…

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Reynolds American Inc. rose to $304 million (52 cents per share) vs. $262 million (45 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 16% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 0.1% to $2.08 billion from the year earlier quarter. Reynolds American Inc. reported adjusted net income of 72 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 69 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.12 billion.

“Reynolds American finished the year with solid results, despite the challenging economic and competitive environment,” said Daniel M. Delen, RAI’s president and chief executive officer. “I’m pleased to report that RAI continued to make progress in the fourth quarter, increasing earnings and margins while further demonstrating our commitment to returning value to shareholders with the launch of a $2.5 billion share repurchase program. RAI also increased its dividend again in the quarter, bringing the total dividend increase for 2011 to 14.3 percent.”

Competitors to Watch: Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE:MO), Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), Philip Morris Intl. Inc. (NYSE:PM), British American Tobacco (AMEX:BTI), Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE:VGR), Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGX) and Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com