Is Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) Disappointing Investors?
Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) has announced its fourth quarter earnings result, ending August 31, 2013. The retail pharmacy company posted net earnings of $657 million, a 26.9% increase from $553 million in the same quarter last year. Net earnings per diluted share grew 15.9% to $0.73 for the quarter, compared with $0.63 reported a year ago.
Fourth quarter sales increased 5.1% to $17.9 billion year-over-year. Front-end comparable store sales grew 1.6% during the quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores reduced by 1.9% and basket size increased 3.6%. While the total sales in comparable stores rose 4.6% during the quarter.
Prescription sales rose 6.1% and accounted for 63.9% of sales in the quarter. Prescription sales in comparable stores grew 6.4% and prescriptions filled in comparable stores increased 7.1%. The company opened or bought 33 new drugstores in the quarter compared with 54 a year ago.
“Looking ahead, we begin the new fiscal year well positioned to build on the momentum we have coming out of a solid fourth quarter. We are advancing our key strategies with a continued focus on disciplined execution, and are addressing the challenges ahead in a difficult consumer environment and changing health care system,” Wasson said. “While we are pleased with our progress and momentum, we recognize there is more to do to achieve our vision of being the first choice for health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond.”
In March, Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG), along with Alliance Boots, entered into an agreement to form a 10-year long-term partnership with AmerisourceBergen for pharmaceutical
distribution. The deal also included a minority equity stake. The company expects the agreement
could spur revenues past the $130 billion range by FY2016.
In September, the company also acquired 76 retail drugstores and specialty pharmacy business from Kerr Drug, with the transaction expected to close by 2013 end. At August 31, Walgreens operated 8,582 locations; and added 186 more drugstores this year, taking the total drugstores to 8,116.