Drug store chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.'s stock ran up 2.4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the drug store chain beat fiscal third-quarter profit expectations, lifted its outlook and raised its dividend. For the quarter ended May 31, net earnings rose to $1.3 billion, or $1.18 a share, from $714 million, or 74 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.02, beating the FactSet consensus of 86 cents. Sales rose 48% to $28.8 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $29.67 billion. The company raised its full fiscal year adjusted EPS outlook to a range of $3.70 to $3.80 from $3.45 to $3.65. Walgreens also boosted its quarterly dividend by 6.7% to 36 cents a share, payable on Sept. 11 to shareholders of record on Aug. 19. Separately, Walgreens said it has acquired Liz Earle Beauty Co. Walgreens' stock has climbed 13% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 0.6%.
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