(Walgreen article updated with stock price.)
DEERFIELD, Ill. (
posted a 20% jump in first-quarter earnings, boosted by prescription drug sales and flu shots. But those benefits are lessing in December.
Walgreen earned $489 million, or 49 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $408 million, or 41 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected Walgreen to earn 48 cents a share.
Revenue grew 9.5% to $16.36 billion, while same-store sales advanced 4.9%. Prescription same-store sales rose 6.1%, while front-end sales gained 2.7%.
"Consumer concerns over high unemployment and the challenging economy were a drag on holiday sales at the end of November, and we've seen a similar pattern through mid-December," Chief Executive Greg Wasson said in a statement. "Like every Christmas season, our performance is driven by the final days, which makes this an important week."
Shares of the drugstore are falling about 3% in morning trading to $35.55.
Last week rival
, albeit, a smaller loss than expected.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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