Walgreens Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates

Drugstore operator Walgreens Boots Alliance reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by cost-cutting and higher sales of Medicare Part D drugs and non-pharmacy products in the United States.

The company, which owns UK-based Boots drugstore chain, also raised the lower end of its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

Walgreens, which is in the process of buying smaller rival Rite Aid, said sales at its Walgreens and Duane Reade stores open at least a year rose 3.9 percent in the third quarter.

U.S. comparable pharmacy sales rose 6 percent due to a jump in prescriptions filled for Medicare Part D drugs, Walgreens said.

The company's comparable sales in its U.S. non-prescription business, which includes beauty products and over-the-counter drugs, rose 0.1 percent, after falling in the last two quarters.

Total net income attributable to Walgreens fell to $1.10 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the quarter ended May 31, from $1.30 billion, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.18 per share.

Walgreens's net sales rose 2.4 percent to $29.5 billion. The company got about 78 percent of its sales from the United States in 2015.

Analysts on an average were expecting earnings of $1.14 per share on revenue of $29.71 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)