Walgreens earnings top estimates, as drugstore gives twice as many Covid vaccines as expected

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Walgreens Boots Alliance on Thursday exceeded Wall Street's expectations for fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, arsenic the institution saw a surge successful request for Covid-19 vaccines amid a increasing fig of leader mandates.

Shares were up much than 2% aboriginal Thursday successful premarket trading.

The drugstore concatenation administered 13.5 cardinal vaccines during the three-month play — nearly treble the astir 7 cardinal that it had expected successful the three-month period. It is poised for different question of vaccinations arsenic radical get booster shots and younger children are expected to soon suffice for the shots.

"Mandates are playing a role," CEO Roz Brewer said successful an interrogation with CNBC's Bertha Coombs. "There are galore companies and organizations, cities and municipalities that are mandating and I deliberation it's forcing radical to accidental 'I request to spell to work. So I person to get this vaccine.' So it is creating an increase. And we're seeing that successful our stores."

Plus, she said, radical are acrophobic astir getting Covid — particularly with the delta variant.

Along with the assistance from vaccinations, Walgreens said it got a income bump from at-home Covid tests and a rebound successful request for over-the-counter medications for cold, cough and flu.

It besides said it reached its extremity of shaving $2 cardinal successful yearly costs from its concern a twelvemonth up of schedule.

The drugstore concatenation volition clasp a virtual capitalist time aboriginal Thursday morning. Brewer, Walgreens' caller CEO, is expected to laic retired her strategy for refreshing the company's marque and driving growth. It is besides expected to stock its outlook for the upcoming fiscal year.

Here's what Walgreens reported compared with what analysts were expecting for the 4th fourth ended Aug. 31, based connected Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: $1.17 adjusted vs. $1.02 expected
  • Revenue: $34.26 cardinal vs. $33.30 cardinal expected

In the quarter, nett income roseate to $627 million, oregon 72 cents per share, from $373 million, oregon 43 cents per share, a twelvemonth earlier. Walgreens earned $358 million, oregon 41 cents a shares, from its continuing operations during the latest quarter.

However, excluding items, the institution earned $1.17 per share, exceeding the $1.02 expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Sales roseate to $34.26 billion from $30.37 cardinal a twelvemonth earlier, higher than the $33.30 cardinal that analysts expected.

Sales online and astatine Walgreens stores successful the U.S. unfastened astatine slightest a twelvemonth roseate 8.1% from the year-ago quarter, arsenic consumers got Covid-19 vaccinations and filled much prescriptions. Sales of wellness and wellness products jumped 14% year-over-year, arsenic consumers bought much at-home Covid tests, vitamins and over-the-counter medications for cough, acold and flu.

Brewer said Covid vaccines person had a "halo effect" with front-of-store sales. As radical walked to the pharmacy for a jab oregon waited for 15 minutes aft the shot, she said immoderate bought different kinds of merchandise, from quality items to allergy medication. She said Walgreens wants to summation the fig of different types of vaccines that it administers, for Hepatis B and more.

Its planetary conception — which includes United Kingdom-based chain, Boots — is rebounding aft Covid-19 restrictions were lifted successful July. Sales online and astatine Boots U.K. stores unfastened astatine slightest a twelvemonth accrued 11.4% successful pharmacy services and 15% successful retail compared with the year-ago quarter.

Foot postulation astatine Boots stores connected main streets, specified arsenic adjacent offices and commuter hubs, is recovering but is inactive beneath pre-pandemic levels, the institution said.

The drugstore concatenation said it has administered much than 40 cardinal Covid vaccines to date. Its vaccinations peaked successful the 3rd quarter, erstwhile it administered 17 cardinal shots.

As of Wednesday's close, Walgreens Boots Alliance shares are up astir 19% this year. The company's marketplace valuation is $40.88 billion. Shares closed Wednesday down little than 1% to $47.26.

Read the company's property merchandise here.