WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) _ Drug store chain CVS Corp. on Monday reported a 30 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations.

The Woonsocket-based company earned $158.7 million, or 39 cents a share, compared with $121.6 million, or 30 cents a share in the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected CVS to earn 35 cents a share.

Sales increased 14 percent in the period ending Sept. 30 to $4.9 billion, compared to $4.3 billion last year. CVS opened 45 new stores in the third quarter.

The company has 4,100 locations and is the nation's second-largest drugstore chain in terms of sales, behind Walgreen Co., based in Deerfield, Ill.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company posted net income of $536.5 million, or $1.32 a share, up from $488.8 million, or $1.10 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 13 percent to $14.6 billion from $12.9 billion.

Shares of CVS closed Monday up 12 percent, or $5.81 a share, to $52.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.