Updated at 9:44 am EST
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Thursday, while confirming its full-year profit guidance, thanks in part to solid U.S. pharmacy sales.
Walgreens said diluted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in February, the Dow component's fiscal fourth quarter, were pegged at $1.59 per share, well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.39 per share and a 26.2% increase from last year. Group revenues, Walgreens said, rose 3.8% to $33.8 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $33.38 billion tally.
Comparable store sales in the U.S. were up 9.5%, Walgreens said. Prescription fillings were up 3.9% from last year to 300 million, while pharmacy sales fell 3.3%. The group also added that it provided 12 million Covid vaccinations over the quarter, down from 13.5 million over the prior period.
Looking into the second half of the group's fiscal year, Walgreens said it still expects to see low-single-digit earnings growth, including the impact of its VillageMD investments.
"Second quarter results demonstrated broad-based execution, driving strong comparable sales and robust earnings growth. We continue to make important strides along our strategic priorities, building a consumer-centric, technology-enabled healthcare enterprise at the center of local communities," said CEO Rosalind Brewwier. "VillageMD and Shields are delivering tremendous pro forma sales growth compared to their year-ago standalone results, and our Walgreens Health segment is on track toward long-term targets. The strategic review of our Boots business is progressing, and our transformational actions are accelerating sustainable value creation."
Walgreens Boots shares were marked 6.1% lower in early Thursday trading to change hands at $44.58 each, extending the stock's year-to-date decline to around 14.75%.