Research Desk Line-up: GNC Holdings Post Earnings Coverage
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / November 10, 2017 / Pro-Trader Daily has just published a free post-earnings coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) ("Walgreens"), which can be viewed by registering at http://protraderdaily.com/optin/?symbol=WBA, following the Company's reporting of its fourth quarter fiscal 2017 operating results on October 25, 2017. The United States' largest drugstore chain outperformed top- and bottom-line expectations and introduced 2018 earnings guidance. Our daily stock reports are accessible for free, and with those to look forward today you also will be signing up for a complimentary member's account at:
Get more of our free earnings reports coverage from other constituents of the Drug Stores industry. Pro-TD has currently selected GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) for due-diligence and potential coverage as the Company reported on October 26, 2017, its financial results for Q3 2017. Register for a free membership today, and be among the early birds that get access to our report on GNC Holdings when we publish it.
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Walgreens' sales were $30.15 billion in Q4 FY17, up 5.3% from $28.64 billion in Q4 FY16, and an increase of 6.4% on a constant currency basis. The Company's revenue numbers topped analysts' expectations of $29.93 billion.
For Q4 FY17, Walgreens' GAAP operating income totaled $1.11 billion, down 2.3% compared to $1.14 billion in Q4 FY16. The Company's adjusted operating income was $1.9 billion in the reported quarter, up 21.2% on a y-o-y basis, and an increase of 22.3% on a constant currency basis.
For Q4 FY17, GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens dropped 22.1% to $802 million compared to $1.03 billion in Q4 FY16, while GAAP diluted net earnings per share (EPS) fell 20.0% to $0.76 compared to $0.95 in the year ago same period.
Walgreens' adjusted net earnings jumped 18.8% to $1.4 billion in Q4 FY17, while adjusted diluted net EPS was $1.31 for the reported quarter, up 22.4% on an actual and constant currency basis, compared to the year ago corresponding period. The Company's earnings beat Wall Street's estimates of $1.21 per share.
Business Division Results
During Q4 FY17, Walgreens' Retail Pharmacy USA segment recorded sales of $22.3 billion, up 7.5% on a y-o-y basis. The segment's sales in comparable stores grew 3.1% versus the year ago comparable period. The segment's Pharmacy sales, which accounted for 72.1% of the division's sales in the reported quarter, increased 12.6% on a y-o-y basis, primarily due to higher prescription volumes, including mail and central specialty following the formation of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. Comparable pharmacy sales increased 5.6%, primarily due to higher volume.
For Q4 FY17, the Retail Pharmacy USA division filled 250.2 million prescriptions (including immunizations) adjusted to 30-day equivalents, an increase of 9.0% on a y-o-y basis. Prescriptions filled in comparable stores increased 8.7% compared to the year ago corresponding period, primarily due to Medicare Part D growth and volume growth from strategic pharmacy partnerships.
During Q4 FY17, Retail Pharmacy USA segment's retail sales fell 3.9% on a y-o-y basis, which included the impact of the closure of certain ecommerce operations. Comparable retail sales were down 2.1% in the reported quarter, partly due to changes in promotional plans. The segment's GAAP operating income increased 2.7% to $800 million in Q4 FY17 compared to $779 million in Q4 FY16, while adjusted operating income in the reported quarter surged 27.5% to $1.4 billion on y-o-y basis.
During Q4 FY17, Walgreens' Retail Pharmacy International segment generated sales of $2.9 billion, down 3.2% on a y-o-y basis, primarily due to foreign currency translation. The segment's sales dropped 0.4% on a constant currency basis.
For Q4 FY17, the Pharmacy International division's comparable store sales decreased 0.2% on a y-o-y basis. Comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.5% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to growth in the UK. The segment's GAAP operating income advanced 6.8% to $219 million in Q4 FY17 from $205 million in Q4 FY16, while adjusted operating income increased 5.7% to $261 million, up 8.9% on a constant currency basis.
Walgreens' Pharmaceutical Wholesale division had sales of $5.4 billion in Q4 FY17, up 0.8% on a y-o-y basis, with growth adversely affected by foreign currency translation. On a constant currency basis, the segment's comparable sales increased 5.4%. The Wholesale division's GAAP operating income was $96 million in the reported quarter, which included a loss of $8 million from the Company's equity earnings in AmerisourceBergen, compared to a gain of $34 million in the year ago same quarter. Adjusted operating income increased 6.3% to $221 million, up 11.5% on a constant currency basis.
Walgreens' GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $2.0 billion in Q4 FY17, and free cash flow was $1.6 billion. In October 2017, the Company completed its $5.0 billion share repurchase program announced in June 2017. On October 24, 2017, Walgreens expanded the program by an additional $1.0 billion.
Walgreens introduced adjusted earnings guidance of $5.40 to $5.70 for the fiscal year 2018. This guidance assumes current exchange rates for the rest of the fiscal year, and continuation of the Company's normal anti-dilutive share buyback program.
On Thursday, November 09, 2017, Walgreens Boots Alliance's stock closed the trading session at $69.54, marginally rising 0.93% from its previous closing price of $68.90. A total volume of 7.91 million shares were exchanged during the session, which was above the 3-month average volume of 7.27 million shares. Shares of the Company have a PE ratio of 18.41 and have a dividend yield of 2.30%. The stock currently has a market cap of $70.11 billion.
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