Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
stock rose 4% in Thursday premarket trading after the pharmacy retailer reported fiscal first quarter adjusted earnings per share and sales that beat the Street. Walgreens reported a net loss of $308.0 million, or 36 cents per share, after net income of $845.0 million, or 95 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS fell 11.2% year-over-year to $1.22, but beat the FactSet consensus for $1.03. Adjusted EPS included a COVID-19 impact of 26 cents to 30 cents per share. Sales of $36.3 billion were up from $34.3 billion a year ago, and ahead of the FactSet consensus for $34.9 billion. Retail pharmacy sales in the U.S. totaled $27.2 billion, up 3.9% from the previous year. Same-store sales rose 3.7%, and prescriptions filled increased 2.7% in comparable stores. Total prescriptions filled were up 1.1%. Retail pharmacy international sales were $2.6 billion, down 6.2% year-over-year. Walgreens maintained its fiscal 2021 guidance for adjusted EPS to grow in the low-single digits. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $4.81, suggesting 1.5% growth. Walgreens announced Wednesday that it sold the majority of its Alliance Healthcare pharmacy business to AmerisourceBergen Corp.
Walgreens shares have slumped 27.4% over the last year while the benchmark S&P 500 index
has gained 15.8% for the period.