Walgreens Boots Alliance maintains growth guidance for 2021

THE WHAT? Walgreens Boots Alliance is maintaining its guidance of low-single digit growth in adjusted earnings per share at constant rates for Fiscal 2021. Shares in the drugstore chain rose as a result last week, per Reuters.

THE DETAILS In the first quarter of the current financial year, WBA saw sales rise 5.7 percent yoy to US$36.3 billion thanks to growth in its Retail Pharmacy USA and Pharmaceutical Wholesale divisions.

Adjusted net earnings decreased 13.9 percent to US$1.1 billion, reflecting an adverse COVID-19 impact of US$0.26 to US$0.30 per share.

THE WHY? WBA said that opportunities arising from the distribution of vaccines was likely to be offset by any lockdowns and restrictions. Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said, “Our first quarter results exceeded expectations as we continue to deliver on our strategic priorities…. While the business environment remains challenging, we are rising to the occasion with agility and discipline and we are confident in our outlook for adjusted EPS for the fiscal year. Our role in the healthcare system has never been more important, as the communities we serve continue to turn to our trusted brands and expert pharmacists. I am so proud of our teams and the historic and critical role they are playing to help the world emerge from the pandemic, administering COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable members of our society.”