NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walgreen's (WAG) was in the green Wednesday thanks in large part to its pharmacy business. Iinvestors on StockTwits.com are betting its growth is a sign of gains for the baby boomer-fueled drug store industry.
Walgreen's stock rose more than 4% to just below $75 after it revealed that May sales grew 6% from the same period a year ago to $6.57 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.4%.
? Paul La Monica (@lamonicabuzz) Jun. 4 at 10:55 AM
Walgreen $WAG may comp sales rose 4.4% vs. Exp. up 4.1%? FinancialJuice (@FinancialJuice) Jun. 4 at 08:01 AM
Walgreen attributed the growth to a spike in pharmacy sales. May pharmacy sales jumped 7.9% and accounted for 64.2% of total sales for the month. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores jumped 4%.
The same-store sales data added to positive momentum from analyst notes. Goldman Sachs analysts maintained a "conviction buy" rating today and increased their price target $1 to $80-per-share. Goldman analyst Robert Jones cited prescription growth as a reason for the bullishness. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating on the stock earlier this week.
Most investors on StockTwits.com predicted Walgreens shares would rise. Sentiment is 100% bullish, according to site analytics. CVS Caremark (CVS) and Rite Aid (RAD) also rose after the Walgreen release.
Investors on StockTwits.com debated whether the gains in the competing pharmacy chains were warranted. After all, Walgreens could have outperformed by taking some of CVS or Rite Aid's business.
Most investors, however, believe that the entire sector will show strong growth due to an aging American population that requires more prescriptions to feel strong and healthy. Sentiment on Rite Aid is 90% bullish, according to site analytics. Sentiment on CVS is also positive.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.