Why Walgreen (WAG) Stock Is Higher Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of Walgreen Co. (WAG) are higher by 2.29% to $61.60 on Thursday morning, after the company reported its August 2014 same-store sales grew by 3.6% to $6.39 billion, compared to $6.16 billion for August 2013.

The company's same-store August 2014 sales came in slightly below the 3.8% growth analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast.

The rise in same store sales was driven by the retail drugstore's pharmacy department, adjusted pharmacy sales increased by 5.4% over the prior year.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Walgreens said its pharmacy sales accounted for 65.7% of its total August sales.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WALGREEN CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WALGREEN CO (WAG) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WALGREEN CO has improved earnings per share by 15.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WALGREEN CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.56 versus $2.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.31 versus $2.56).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 15.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $624.00 million to $722.00 million.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 28.46% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • WAG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that WAG's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.61, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WAG Ratings Report

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