WBA’s Q4 earnings top analysts’ forecast

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Double-digit gain in pharmacy sales lifts revenue

WBA’s Q4 earnings top analysts’ forecast

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s (WBA’s) revenue and adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter beat analysts’ estimates, as the company benefited from an expansion of Walgreens’ mail order services.

Share price of the company’s stock rose 4.3% to $70.15 in premarket trading today after WBA also forecast 2018 earnings largely above Wall Street forecasts.

Executive vice chairman and chief executive officer Stefano Pessina said in a statement, “We are pleased to report the company has performed well, with our businesses delivering significant progress while managing against ongoing prescription reimbursement pressure and competing in fast-changing retail environments. We look forward to building on this solid underlying growth in the year to come, enhanced by the expansion of our U.S. retail pharmacy network through the upcoming purchases of Rite Aid [Corp.] stores.”

Earlier this year, Walgreens formed a combined specialty pharmacy and mail order company called AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.

Its mail order business helped Walgreens fill more prescriptions in the fourth quarter ended August 31, in which revenue rose 5.3% to $30.15 billion. Analysts had expected $29.93 billion.

Net income attributable to Walgreens fell 22% to $802 million, or 76 cents per share, hurt mainly by a more than $300 million fee it paid Rite Aid after their failed attempt to merge.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.31 per share, topping analysts’ expectations of $1.21.

In June, WBA abandoned its deal to buy all of Rite Aid after failing to get approval from regulators. WBA instead struck a deal to buy nearly half of its rival’s U.S. stores.


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