Walgreens Boot Alliance is hiking its full-year outlook for fiscal 2021 after exceeding Wall Street expectations in the third quarter.
The retailer has administered more than 25 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date and executives told investors the pace of vaccines will slow in the coming weeks sending the stock down.
|WBA||WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.||46.87||-0.28||-0.59%|
The drugstore chain is now forecasting around 10% growth in its adjusted earnings per share for 2021.
"This quarter’s results demonstrate continued momentum, and while challenges lie ahead, we are in a strong position to grow and innovate our core retail and pharmacy businesses for the future," Chief Executive Officer Rosalind Brewer said. "We are accelerating our investments to advance our operational excellence, including technology innovations that support mass personalization, pharmacy of the future and the next phase of growth in tech-enabled healthcare."
Walgreen's reported a quarterly net profit of $1.2 billion, or $1.38 per share, flipping from a net loss of $1.7 billion, or $1.95 per share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share came in at $1.51. The company's overall sales surged 12% year-over-year to $34 billion, up from $30.3 billion a year ago, driven by solid growth in the international and U.S. segments.
The U.S. segment's total sales increased 5% year-over-year to $28.7 billion. Pharmacy sales made up over 75% of the segment's sales, increasing 6.3% year-over-year, while retail sales rose 1.4% year-over-year. U.S. same-store sales increased 6.4% year-over-year, while comparable pharmacy sales and comparable retail sales saw year-over-year growth of 8.4% and 1.7%, respectively. Within comparable sales, prescriptions filled in the third quarter increased 9.8% from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the international segment's sales soared 75.8% year-over-year to $5.3 billion.
Walgreens plans to launch its own debit and credit cards nationwide in early fall as part of an expanded financial services offering and now offers over 500 beauty brands through Boots, with 34 new brands launched this year.
In addition, Walgreens completed the divestiture of its Alliance Healthcare businesses to AmerisourceBergen for $6.5 billion, including a combination of cash and AmerisourceBergen common stock, with a portion of the proceeds being used to eliminate $3.3 billion in debt from its balance sheet.
Walgreens noted it is on track to deliver in excess of $2 billion in annual cost savings by fiscal 2022.