CVS pharmacy is the second largest pharmacy chain after Walgreens in the United States. When first traded on the stock market back on January 6th, 1978, shares traded at $1.63. The franchise has grown a considerable amount since then and the stock price today is well over $100 per share, sitting at $109.77.
As we all know, CVS sells prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, beauty products and cosmetics, film and photo services, and convenience foods. They have over 7,500 stores in which they do business, but they also sell products online at cvs.com.
In 1999, CVS was a proven company that had millions in revenue year after year. They wanted to take that next step into further growing their company. CVS purchased Soma.com, which was the first online pharmacy, and re-named it to CVS.com. Also in 1999, CVS launched their CVS ProCare Pharmacy for complex drug therapies. The internet craze was just getting started and CVS made a great business decision in launching their own website. This was a first because now customers can purchase their products online, it is quick and easy.
Going into the 2000's, CVS was a company whose mind was "Full-Steam Ahead." They bought a company named Stadtlander Pharmacy of Pittsburgh from AmerisourceBergen in early of 2000. In 2004, probably their biggest acquisition to-date, CVS purchased 1,268 Eckerd drug stores from JC Penney. Since JC Penney gift cards were accepted at all Eckerd locations, those same gift cards are accepted at all CVS locations. At this time, CVS had gained business down south into Florida, Texas and Georgia. This strategic move expanded the brand name "CVS" and was one step closer to being a household name it is today.
Throughout the 2000's and up until 2010, CVS did a lot of purchasing and expanding in order to get their name out. Within the past seven years however, CVS has been pursuing walk-in clinics as a means of revenue and affordability. CVS recently purchased Navarro, the largest Hispanic owned pharmacy chain. This chain generated over $300 million in annual sales. CVS has already laid out plans to open two MinuteClinics in Bronx and Queens, which happen to be the two most Hispanic populated suburbs in New York.
CVS has over 900 clinics open in 31 states, and they don't plan on stopping there. They have made an aggressive move towards retail clinic space to provide low cost services. CVS wants to be more known as a "health" and "wellness" company instead of just a convenience or general store. With that being said, in late of 2014, CEO Larry J. Merlo announced CVS will stop selling tobacco products, despite losing out on $2 billion a year. Since then, the stock of CVS has done nothing but increase. Top-Level management of this company did a spectacular job of growing this company from 1999 to 2015. Several key investments and decisions shaped CVS into a household name and a national brand.
If you were to invest in CVS prior to the year 2004, boy did you make out well if you didn't sell yet. The stock price rose by $80 since then and didn't have any real hiccups since then. CVS's revenue during the year 2007 was around $80 billion. In 2008, revenue exceeded $90 billion. There was only one year that stood out to me, and that was 2010, when revenue went down from the year before. Other than that year, revenue has been on the steady climb for past six years and will continue to do so. People will still be needing their prescriptions, and still be using CVS because of their convenience. There is no doubt that soon CVS will be surpassing Walgreens as the number one pharmacy chain in the United States.