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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.    WBA

WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.

(WBA)
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Walgreens Reports Stronger Profit as Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Ramps Up -- Update

03/31/2021 | 09:47am EDT

By Sharon Terlep and Micah Maidenberg

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. says money made from administering Covid-19 vaccines should begin to offset pandemic-related losses as more people get shots and the U.S. government pays a higher reimbursement rate.

The company said Wednesday it has administered more than eight million vaccines to date, including four million in March. Executives now expect the company to administer 26 million to 34 million shots during its fiscal year, which ends Aug. 31. The higher number in part led the company to lift its profit forecast.

Covid so far has hurt Walgreens more than it has helped, the company said.

Store sales are down amid pandemic-related lockdowns, prescription volumes dropped as people put off medical care, and sales of cold-and-flu products tanked as Covid precautions prevented many people from getting sick from other bugs. Meantime, the company is spending more to keep workers and customers safe and stores stocked.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced earlier this month that it would increase the payment rate for vaccines to $40 for each dose, up from $28 for a single dose and $45 for two doses.

The U.S. said the increase, "reflects new information about the costs involved in administering the vaccine for different types of providers and suppliers, and the additional resources necessary to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately."

It isn't clear if all insurers will match the government's $40 rate, Walgreens Finance Chief James Kehoe said, though the company's increased profit forecast is based on that reimbursement rate.

The company reported a stronger profit for its latest quarter, a performance that comes as it looks to make itself a cornerstone in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines under new Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer.

Vaccinations have been ramping up around the country, with states expanding eligibility to more adults. Rivals including CVS Health Corp., as well as supermarket chain Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc., are also pushing to get consumers to visit their locations to receive vaccines.

"Our team will move swiftly and decisively to best serve the needs of our patients, customers and communities around the world, at this critical time and beyond," said Ms. Brewer, who took the helm at Walgreens earlier in March.

Walgreens on Wednesday reported $32.8 billion in sales from continuing operations for its quarter that ended Feb. 28, up almost 5% from the year-earlier period.

Comparable sales in the U.S. were up 2%, including a 4.5% gain in pharmacy items. Demand for other retail products was lower, amid a weaker cough, cold and flu season, the company said.

Profit rose to $1.03 billion, or $1.19 a share, from $946 million, or $1.07 a share, for the year-earlier period. After adjustments, Walgreens reported earnings of $1.40 a share, ahead of what analysts expected for that metric.

In January, the company said it had hired Ms. Brewer to serve as CEO. She took over the top role from Stefano Pessina, who now is executive chairman of its board. Ms. Brewer is a former CEO of Sam's Club and chief operating officer at Starbucks Corp.

Walgreens shares were up more than 6% in morning trading.

Write to Sharon Terlep at sharon.terlep@wsj.com and Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-31-21 1147ET

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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 132 B - -
Net income 2021 2 341 M - -
Net Debt 2021 9 818 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 19,5x
Yield 2021 3,53%
Capitalization 46 833 M 46 833 M -
EV / Sales 2021 0,43x
EV / Sales 2022 0,40x
Nbr of Employees 277 000
Free-Float 61,0%
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Technical analysis trends WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 53,17 $
Last Close Price 54,18 $
Spread / Highest target 32,9%
Spread / Average Target -1,87%
Spread / Lowest Target -22,5%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Rosalind Gates Brewer Chief Executive Officer & Director
James Kehoe Global Chief Financial Officer & Executive VP
Stefano Pessina Executive Chairman
Francesco Tinto Global Chief Information Officer & Senior VP
Ornella Barra Co-Chief Operating Officer
Sector and Competitors