Walgreens raises FY profit growth forecast on strength in drug sales

imageStock Markets25 minutes ago (Jul 01, 2021 07:25AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Walgreens store is seen in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. February 11, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar

(Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) Inc on Thursday raised its 2021 adjusted profit growth forecast, buoyed by strength in drug sales and COVID-19 vaccine administrations.

The company, one of the largest U.S. pharmacies, had been relying on gains from administering COVID-19 vaccines to tide over losses from low prescription volumes and a weak flu season that has hampered over-the-counter sales of health and wellness products in recent quarters.

However, prescription volumes improved in the third quarter amid a drop in COVID-19 cases in the United States and easing of social-distancing protocols and lockdowns.

Walgreens said it had administered more than 25 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date out of the 326.5 million shots given in the United States as of June 30.

Same-store sales at its U.S. pharmacies rose 6.4% in the third quarter as it filled 312.1 million prescriptions.

Walgreens raised its 2021 adjusted earnings per share forecast from mid-to-high single digit growth to around 10 percent growth.

Net income attributable to the company was $1.2 billion, or $1.38 per share, for the quarter ended May 31, compared with a net loss of $1.71 billion, or $1.95 per share, a year earlier.

Walgreens raises FY profit growth forecast on strength in drug sales

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