Walgreens Is Dow's Best Performer After First Earnings Report as Index Member

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA)  was the biggest gainer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average Thursday, Oct. 11, after it reported earnings for the first time as an index component. 

Walgreens replaced General Electric Co.  (GE)  on the index in late June after a slew of troubles for GE rocked the stock. 

Pharmacy chain Walgreens edged up 1.4% on Thursday, while the Dow continued falling falling a sharp selloff during the previous session. 

Walgreens reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $1.48 a share, beating Wall Street's estimates of $1.45. Sales of $33.44 billion, however, missed expectations. 

Walgreens said the integration of Rite Aid was unfolding smoothly.

"We are pleased to have delivered double-digit percentage growth in earnings per share while returning $6.8 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends in fiscal 2018," said CEO Stefano Pessina. He added, "The integration of the acquired Rite Aid stores is on track, and our pharmacy market share in the U.S. increased year over year on an annual basis." 

The $71 billion pharmacy chain also revealed 2019 guidance, saying per-share earnings for fiscal 2019 would grow at between 7% and 12% from 2018.

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