updated 8/3/2005 7:54:07 AM ET 2005-08-03T11:54:07

Drugstore chain CVS Corp. on Wednesday said second-quarter profit rose 18 percent, bolstered by robust sales growth led by generic-drug sales.

Woonsocket-based CVS, which acquired the Eckerd drugstore chain last July, reported earnings of $275.9 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $234.5 million, or 28 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Sales rose 31 percent to $9.1 billion from $6.9 billion a year ago.

Wall Street’s consensus estimate was for earnings of 31 cents per share, the average view of 13 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, on estimated revenue of $9.06 billion. CVS operated 5,439 retail and specialty pharmacy stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia as of July.

Sales at stores open more than one year, a closely watched metric known as same-store sales, rose 5.6 percent, with pharmacy same-store sales jumping 7.4 percent.

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