Updated at 9:44 am EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) – Get Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc Report posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Thursday, while confirming its full-year profit guidance, thanks in part to solid U.S. pharmacy sales.
Walgreens said diluted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in February, the Dow component’s fiscal fourth quarter, were pegged at $1.59 per share, well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.39 per share and a 26.2% increase from last year. Group revenues, Walgreens said, rose 3.8% to $33.8 billion, again topping analysts’ estimates of a $33.38 billion tally.
Comparable store sales in the U.S. were up 9.5%, Walgreens said. Prescription fillings were up 3.9% from last year to 300 million, while pharmacy sales fell 3.3%. The group also added that it provided 12 million Covid vaccinations over the quarter, down from 13.5 million over the prior period.
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Looking into the second half of the group’s fiscal year, Walgreens said it still expects to see low-single-digit earnings growth, including the impact of its VillageMD investments.
“Second quarter results demonstrated broad-based execution, driving strong comparable sales and robust earnings growth. We continue to make important strides along our strategic priorities, building a consumer-centric, technology-enabled healthcare enterprise at the center of local communities,” said CEO Rosalind Brewwier. “VillageMD and Shields are delivering tremendous pro forma sales growth compared to their year-ago standalone results, and our Walgreens Health segment is on track toward long-term targets. The strategic review of our Boots business is progressing, and our transformational actions are accelerating sustainable value creation.”
Walgreens Boots shares were marked 6.1% lower in early Thursday trading to change hands at $44.58 each, extending the stock’s year-to-date decline to around 14.75%.