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Walgreens Earnings Top Estimates but Its Outlook Is Crushing the Stock

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Walgreens delivers a second-quarter earnings beat. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walgreens Boots Alliance tumbled Thursday after investors were disappointed by the drugstore chain’s unchanged fiscal-year guidance. The outlook overshadowed a fiscal second-quarter earnings beat driven by Covid-19 vaccines and testing sales.


(ticker: WBA) reiterated its outlook for low-single digits growth in adjusted per-share earnings for the fiscal year ending in August. Analysts at

Credit Suisse

calculated earnings in a range of $4.96 to $5.06 a share.

“The key consideration in relation to the unchanged outlook is what this suggests for FY23 with F2H22 implying a~30% year over year decline in EPS,” said analyst A.J. Rice of Credit Suisse. He rates the stock at Neutral, in line with the 14 other analysts surveyed by


Walgreens’ earnings projection matches the forecast the company shared in January. The company reported earnings of $4.91 a share in fiscal 2021.

The stock was down 5.5% to $44.84 on Thursday.

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter were $1.59 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting $1.37. Revenue in the quarter was $33.8 billion, higher than the $33.23 billion forecast, and 3% more than a year ago.

Walgreens said it saw “strong execution across business segments, led by Covid-19 vaccinations and testing,” driving comparable-sales growth for U.S. retail, up 14.7% from a year ago. In particular, health and wellness sales increased by 43.3%, aided by at-home Covid-19 tests while sales from cough, cold, and flu remedies increased by 9.7% and personal care rose 6.5%.

Walgreens’ CEO Rosalind Brewer said that “the strategic review of our Boots business is progressing.” U.K.-based Boots has more than 2,200 stores, including pharmacies, health and beauty stores. The strategic review, which started in January, comes as the company seeks to put a greater focus on U.S. healthcare.

Write to Karishma Vanjani at

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