) --



is pegged to pummel its competitors when it reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Walgreen has fared better than most drugstores amid the recession. While its front-end has been hurting due to a pullback in consumer spending, it has seen a boost in prescription sales.

Two major initiatives, launched within the past year, have helped to propel the company to the top. One, its "Customer-Centric Retailing" program, is designed to helped attract and retain customers, while the company's "Rewiring for Growth" cost-cutting plan is intended to save the company $1 billion by 2011.

Like other drugstores, it is also looking to

benefit from the flu season

. The increase awareness due to swine flu outbreak, pushed Walgreen to begin offering its seasonal flu shots a month earlier this year.

And last week, the company said it plans to help curb the

shortage of liquid Tamiflu

by compounding capsules.

TheStreet users (55.9%) said

Walgreen is best poised to gain the most market share from flu season

, in our online poll last week.

Walgreen has already said its fourth-quarter sales rose about 8%, to $15.72 billion from $14.6 billion a year ago. For the full year, sales grew more than 7% to $63.35 billion, with same-store sales up 2.1%.

Analysts expect the company to earn 39 cents a share on $15.68 billion in revenue.

In August, Walgreen said it signed a deal with


(CAT) - Get Report

, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, to offer prescription drugs directly to employees starting in 2010.

During the quarter, shares of the company spiked nearly 14% to $33.88, and are currently up 1% in Monday morning trading to $34.05.

Last week, rival

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

posted yet another loss in its second-quarter and lowered its full-year outlook.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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