Drug store giant Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) announced this morning that November same-store sales fell 6.2% year-over-year, primarily due to the impact of generic drug sales replacing sales of higher-priced brand-name drugs. Total sales fell 3.9% from $6.09 billion last year to $5.85 billion.
Pharmacy sales in November fell 4.7%, and same-store pharmacy sales fell 8.8%. Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.2% of monthly sales.
Walgreen did not specifically indicate any impact from its now-resolved dispute with Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ: ESRX). During the nine-month fight with Express Scripts, Walgreen’s lost millions of customers, and as much as 60% of the total could be gone permanently to competitor CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS). Walgreen did say that prescriptions filled at comparable stores fell by 2.9% in November following a 1.8% drop in October.
Walgreen stock is up 2.45% this morning, at $35.12 in a 52-week range of $28.53 to $37.35, even though virtually every metric reported today was down. Even the number of flu shots administered is lower this year.