Why Walgreens Q1 Is Underwhelming

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Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The retailer said that it had $1.37 in earnings per share (EPS) and $34.3 billion in revenue, which compared with consensus estimates of $1.41 in EPS and $34.6 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.46 in EPS and $33.79 billion in revenue.

Overall, net sales saw an increase of 1.6% from the year-ago quarter and an increase of 2.3% on a constant currency basis.

The Retail Pharmacy USA segment had fourth-quarter sales of $26.1 billion, an increase of 1.6% year over year. At the same time, Retail Pharmacy International saw sales of $2.7 billion, a decrease of 5.4%.

Pharmaceutical Wholesale had fourth-quarter sales of $6.0 billion, an increase of 5.2%. On a constant currency basis, comparable sales increased 8.3%, led by emerging markets and the United Kingdom.

The company maintained guidance of roughly flat growth in fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS at constant currency rates, with a range of plus or minus 3%. Consensus estimates are calling for $5.93 in EPS and $139.91 billion in revenue for the full year.

Stefano Pessina, executive vice chair and chief executive, commented:

We are maintaining our outlook for the year despite a soft first quarter. We are confident our strategic plans are the right ones to drive long-term sustainable growth going forward. In addition, during the quarter we were very satisfied with the progress made in our Transformational Cost Management Program and with the strong cash flow we delivered.

Shares of Walgreens traded down nearly 6% at $55.99 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $49.03 to $74.94. The consensus price target is $57.21.

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