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Walgreen (WAG) Shares Hit After Q1 Miss

December 21, 2011 8:45 AM EST Send to a Friend
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Shares of Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) are seeing some pressure Wednesday following a first-quarter 2012 miss on earnings from the retail pharmacy giant.

Sales for Walgreen rose 4.7 percent from $17.344 billion during the same quarter last year to $18.157 billion for the period ended November 30th. Comps jumped 2.5 percent in the quarter.

Net earnings fell 4.5 percent to $554 million, or 63 cents per share.

The Street was expecting revs of $18.21 billion and earnings of 67 cents per share.

Walgreen's press release said "...the delay in the cough/cold and flu season impacted net earnings per diluted share by 1 cent, while the strategic decision to no longer be part of the Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012, cost 1 cent per diluted share in comparable pharmacy sales and 1 cent per diluted share in related expenses." Flu shots total 5.0 million, down 10.7 percent from 5.6 million issued in the same period last year.

Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.2 percent for the first quarter, while basket size increased 2.6 percent.

On Express Scripts: "Based on the company’s current estimates, and the current assumption that it will not be in Express Scripts’ pharmacy networks beginning Jan. 1, including for clients such as Tricare and WellPoint, Walgreens expects to achieve 97 to 99 percent of its fiscal 2011 prescription volume in fiscal 2012. Because the Express Scripts/Medco merger remains under review, the company has made no assumption regarding the consummation, timing or impact of the merger related to its business for fiscal 2012."

Shares of Walgreen are about 6 percent lower in pre-market action Wednesday.




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