Walgreens Boots (WBA) Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Margins Down

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Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.22 for first-quarter fiscal 2021, down 11.2% year over year (down 11.6% at constant exchange rate or CER). However, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19.6%.

The adjusted EPS reflects an adverse impact of approximately 26-30 cents due to the pandemic. However, this was partially made up for by Transformational Cost Management Program savings.

GAAP loss per share for first-quarter fiscal 2021 was 36 cents compared to the year-ago EPS of 95 cents.

Total Sales

Walgreens Boots recorded total sales of $36.31 billion in fiscal first quarter, up 5.7% year over year and up 5.2% at CER. The top line exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.9%.

The company stated that despite the pandemic-led business challenges, its top line was boosted by strength in the company’s Retail Pharmacy USA and Pharmaceutical Wholesale businesses. Also, accelerated growth in the Boots.com platform boosted the top line.

Segments in Detail

Walgreens Boots reports through three segments — Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International and Pharmaceutical Wholesale.

Retail Pharmacy USA

The segment’s sales totaled $27.16 billion in fiscal first quarter, highlighting an improvement of 3.9% year over year.

Sales in comparable stores increased 3.7% from the year-ago quarter, which reflects a 5% uptick in comparable pharmacy sales and 0.4% growth in comparable retail sales.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Quote

Total prescriptions (adjusted to 30-day equivalents) filled in the first quarter rose 1.1% year over year. In comparable stores, prescriptions filled increased 2.7% from the year-ago quarter.

Pharmacy sales were up 5.9% from the year-ago quarter. Comparable pharmacy sales improved 5% year over year.

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