Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. reported Wednesday fiscal third-quarter earnings that declined to $1.1 billion, or $1.01 a share, from $1.3 billion, or $1.18 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, earnings per share increased 16% to $1.18, beating the FactSet consensus of $1.14. Revenue rose 2.4% to $29.5 billion from $28.8 billion, but fell shy of the FactSet consensus of $29.7 billion, as 3.7% growth in domestic retail pharmacy sales helped offset a 2.3% decline in international sales. Looking ahead, the drug store chain, which is in the process of acquiring Rite Aid Corp. , raised its EPS outlook to a range of $3.45 to $3.55 from $3.35 to $3.55. The company said it still expects the Rite Aid deal to close in the second half of 2016. "We delivered solid results in the quarter while continuing to make progress in several key areas, including our work to develop long-term strategic relationships and pursue partnership opportunities," said Chief Executive Stefano Pessina. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 1.9% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.
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