Walgreens stock jumps after profit falls less than expected, revenue rises above forecasts

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Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. jumped 2.8% in premarket trading Thursday, after the drug-store services company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit that fell less than expected, while revenue rose above forecasts. Net income fell to $373 million, or 43 cents a share, from $677 million, or 75 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share fell 28.2% to $1.02, but beat the FactSet consensus of 96 cents. Sales rose 2.3% to $34.75 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $34.37 billion. For the U.S. retail pharmacy business, sales grew 3.6% to $27.0 billion to top the FactSet consensus of $26.77 billion, as same-store sales increased 3.6% and prescriptions filled rose 1.6%. Retail pharmacy international sales fell 14.9% to $2.3 billion, compared with expectations of $2.2 billion, and pharmaceutical wholesale sales grew 4.3% to $6.0 billion to beat expectations of $5.9 billion. “While the company anticipates a gradual reduction in COVID-19 impacts, the first half results will continue to be negatively impacted when compared with the pre-COVID-19 first half of fiscal 2020,” the company said in a statement. “However, for the second half, the company anticipates strong adjusted EPS growth, as these effects subside and recovery plans take hold in key markets.” The stock has dropped 39.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 5.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 0.1%.
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