Walgreens Raises Low End Of Outlook But Q1 Revenue Falls Short

Walgreens Boots Alliance's (WBA) first-quarter profit topped Wall Street estimates Thursday, and the drugstore chain raised the low end of its full-year outlook.

Earnings per share rose 6.8% to $1.10, beating views by a penny. But revenue fell 1.8% to $28.5 billion, falling short of views for $29.2 billion.

Walgreens raised the low end of its full-year EPS outlook by five cents to a range of $4.90-$5.20, with the midpoint above the consensus for $5.01.

Walgreens shares fell intraday but rallied to close up 0.1% at 83.03 on the stock market today.

The company also said it was working to close its pending $17.2 billion acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) in the early part of the year.

Rite Aid shares fell 1% to 8.19.

In December, Rite Aid agreed to sell 865 stores to Fred's (FRED) for $950 million in cash to help ease antitrust concerns ahead of its merger with Walgreens. But that sale is contingent on the Walgreens-Rite Aid deal going through.

Kroger (KR) had been considering buying hundreds of Rite Aid and Walgreens stores and converting them into in-grocery store locations. But reportedly the FTC wants them to stay stand-alone drugstores.

Fred's shares sank 4.4%. Kroger shares dipped 0.1%.

The exterior of the Walgreens store in Times Square is seen in New York, U.S., July 5, 2016. Picture taken July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Walgreens profit beats estimates on PBM partnerships

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as recent partnerships with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance companies helped boost sales of prescription drugs as well as non-drug items.

The largest U.S. drugstore chain also raised the lower end of its adjusted profit forecast for the year ending August 2017.

Walgreens, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its $9.5 billion takeover of smaller rival Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N), said it expects to close the deal early this year.

It had previously extended the merger agreement till Jan. 27.

Walgreens entered partnerships last year with PBMs such as Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O) and OptumRx and insurer UnitedHealthcare (UNH.N) which helped boost sales in the first quarter.

Net income attributable to Walgreens fell to $1.05 billion, or 97 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, from $1.11 billion, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.10 per share, beating the average analysts' estimate of $1.09, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell to $28.50 billion from $29.03 billion, falling for the first time in four years and missing the analyst estimate of $29.23 billion.

Walgreens beats 1Q profit forecasts

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $1.05 billion.

On a per-share basis, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said it had net income of 97 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.10 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.09 per share.

The largest U.S. drugstore chain posted revenue of $28.5 billion in the period, which missed Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $29.37 billion.

Walgreens expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.90 to $5.20 per share.

Walgreens shares have risen slightly since the beginning of the year. The stock has dropped slightly in the last 12 months.

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