By Kimberly Chin
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) reported stronger sales and profits in its fourth quarter Thursday but the sales missed analysts' expectations.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based company said net income rose 88.5% to $1.5 billion, or $1.55 a share, from the same period a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share came in at $1.48, above the $1.45 expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Sales rose 10.9% to $33.44 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report $33.78 billion in sales.
Walgreen's shares fell 2.5% to $70.50 in premarket trading. The stock is flat for the year to date.
Comparable pharmacy-sales growth in the U.S. rose 1.3% in its latest quarter on higher volume, though the company continues to cope with reimbursement pressures and the impact of generic drugs. Comparable pharmacy sales decreased 3.4% abroad.
Comparable retail sales fell 1.9% in the U.S. while it fell 0.9% on a constant-currency basis internationally.
The drugstore chain also gave earnings guidance for the fiscal 2019. It expects adjusted earnings growth between 7% to 12% at constant currency rates, for adjusted earnings per share in the range of $6.40 to $6.70.
Walgreens has expanded in recent years by merging with European drug wholesaler Alliance Boots and buying up stores from rival Rite Aid Corp. The company, whose roots date back to 1901, has more than 13,200 stores across 11 countries.
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