Tags: Walgreen | Prescriptions | Earnings | Drug Sales

Walgreen Prescriptions Hit Record as Earnings Beat Estimates

Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 11:27 AM

Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by revenue, beat analysts’ expectations after the company said it filled more prescriptions at its retail pharmacies than ever before.

First-quarter sales rose 6.7 percent to $19.6 billion as customers filled a record 222 million prescriptions, 4.3 percent more than a year ago, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said in a statement. Pharmacy sales accounted for about two-thirds of revenue in the quarter.

Net income rose 16 percent to $809 million, or 85 cents a share, from $695 million or 72 cents a share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, earnings were 81 cents a share, beating the 75-cent average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Investors are waiting to see what Walgreen does next after in August it agreed to buy the 55 percent of European health and beauty chain Alliance Boots GmbH that it didn’t already own for $15.3 billion.

“The results themselves take somewhat of a back seat to the potential strategic shifts that could come under new leadership and following the Alliance Boots deal closure,” Ross Muken, an analyst with Evercore-ISI, said in a note to clients.

The takeover plan has been accompanied the departure of many of Walgreen’s top executives, with the company’s senior ranks being filled by managers from Bern, Switzerland-based Alliance Boots.

The departures include CEO Greg Wasson, who will step down after the deal closes. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Alliance Boots’ Chairman Stefano Pessina, who through the deal became Walgreen’s biggest shareholder.

Walgreen shares rose 1.3 percent to $75.25 at 9:33 in New York. The stock had gained 29 percent this year as of Monday’s close.


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Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain by revenue, beat analysts' expectations after the company said it filled more prescriptions at its retail pharmacies than ever before.
Walgreen, Prescriptions, Earnings, Drug Sales
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2014-27-23
Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 11:27 AM
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