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Home / MLW News Roundup / Walgreens tops fiscal 4Q forecasts, boosts cost-cutting goal

Walgreens tops fiscal 4Q forecasts, boosts cost-cutting goal

Walgreens earnings tumbled 55 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter on expenses tied to its cost-cutting program, but the drugstore chain topped Wall Street expectations.

The company also saidthat it was setting a higher goal for its cost-cutting program, and it expected fiscal 2020 earnings to come in roughly flat when adjusted for currency changes. The company posted adjusted earnings of $5.99 in fiscal 2019.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $5.95 per share, according to FactSet.

Walgreens runs more than 18,750 stores internationally but has been trimming its total as part of its plan to cut costs. Walgreens has been hit by challenges including reimbursement cuts and lower price increases for branded drugs.

Drugstores also face competition in areas outside their pharmacies from online options like Amazon.com.

Walgreens said Monday that it has raised its annual savings target from its cost cutting program to more than $1.8 billion by fiscal 2022, up from a previous goal to exceed $1.5 billion.

In the final quarter of fiscal 2019, Walgreens earnings fell to $677 million from $1.51 billion the previous year, when the company received a boost from some drugstores it had acquired from Rite Aid.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.43 per share in the quarter that ended August 31.

Revenue climbed 1.5 percent to $33.95 billion.

Analysts exceed, on average, earnings of $1.41 per share on $33.86 billion in revenue, according to Zacks Investment Research.

For the year, the company reported profit of $3.98 billion while revenue totaled $136.87 billion.

Shares of Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. edged up 28 cents to $55.70 in early-morning trading Monday.

The stock had dropped 19 percent since the beginning of the year as of Friday’s close. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average, of which Walgreens is a component, has climbed nearly 16 percent.

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