Tag Archives: wag

Rite Aid Is Looking Solid In Battle With Stronger Rivals [Seeking Alpha]

Rite Aid Corporation (RAD) had an amazing performance year to date by gaining 52.52%, strongly outperforming the market where the S&P index increased 13.60% as of April 11, 2013. Rite Aid, with a market cap of $1.92B, operates drugstores in 31 states across the U.S. and in the District of Columbia. On April 11, 2013, RAD surged 18.44% after the company reported its second-straight quarterly profit and first annual profit in six years.

Management Call

Rite Aid’s Q4 results were driven by solid front-end same-store sales growth of 0.3%, increased profitability from new generics and a strong 3% increase in same-store prescription count. The results were impressive as Walgreen (WAG) was back in the ESI network for the entire quarter. The company also achieved a new all-time company record for a full-year adjusted EBITDA.

Operation Improvement and Customer Satisfaction

The company had converted nearly 800 stores to wellness format, with nearly 1,300 Wellness Ambassadors working in these stores and providing a higher level of customer service. The management also indicated that new ESI patients were retained due to excellent services. RAD also earned the top position among major drugstore chains for the American Customer Satisfaction Index and its score had increased by 3%.

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Walgreen: Green All The Way And How To Invest [Seeking Alpha]

Walgreen Company (WAG) was up 1.48% and closed at $46.49, a new 52-week high, on March 22, 2013. WAG has a market cap of $43.94B with a beta of 1.01. Despite making a new 52-week high, there is more upside potential for WAG in the long term as Walgreen continues to recover and make sound strategic moves. In this article, WAG will be analyzed fundamentally and technically. Investing strategies will also be reviewed.

Q2, 2013 Earnings

On March 19, 2013, WAG released its Q2, 2013 earnings. The company earned $756M (79 cents per share), which was higher than earnings of $683M (78 cents per share) in last year’s quarter. Revenue of $18.65B missed the analysts’ forecast of $18.74B. However, adjusted earnings of 96 cents per share surpassed the analysts’ expectation of 93 cents per share.

Analysts Calls

WAG had received multiple positive upgrades and only one downgrade from the analysts so far in March. On March 21, 2013, Macquarie upgraded WAG from neutral to outperform with a price target of $52 (up from $36). On March 20, 2013, Citi upgraded WAG from sell to buy, and JPMorgan upgraded WAG from neutral to overweight with a price target of $55.00 (from $41.00). UBS and Cantor Fitzgerald also reiterated a buy rating for WAG and increased their target price to $51 (from $48) and $49 (from $45), respectively. ISI Group maintained its cautious rating but increased its target price to $43 (from $38) on the same day.

On the other hand, Goldman Sachs downgraded WAG from conviction buy to buy but increased its price target to $50.00 (from $46.00). Analyst Matthew J. Fassler said he saw less upside in the stock now that the market increasingly appreciates WAG’s association with Alliance-Boots.

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Walgreen: Sales Growth Continues With Focused Strategies [Seeking Alpha]

Walgreen Company (WAG) is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with 8,524 locations in the United States. WAG went ex-dividend on February 13, 2013 with a cash dividend of $0.275 per share, payable on March 12, 2013. WAG had gained 12% YTD as of February 13, 2013. In this article, recent developments will be updated for WAG and the current options play will be reviewed.

Recent Highlights

Strategic growth drivers: As stated by WAG’s president and CEO, Greg Wasson, Walgreen is focused on creating a complete Well Experience for its customers and transforming the role played by community pharmacy in health care. The combination of Walgreen and Alliance Boots will accelerate WAG’s core strategies. Wasson also outlined fiscal 2016 financial goals (assuming a full combination with Alliance Boosts) to have sales of $130B or greater, adjusted operating income of $9-$9.5B or $8.5-$9B on a GAAP basis, $1B in combined synergies, and operating cash flow of $8B or more.

Increasing sales: WAG had January sale of $6.15B, an increase of 6.3 percent from $5.78B for the same month in fiscal 2012. The percentage of Express Scripts (ESRX) customers filling prescriptions in WAG’s pharmacies continued to increase in January. Pharmacy sales in January increased by 8.7 percent while comparable store pharmacy sales increased 6.2 percent. Registration for Balance Rewards loyalty program totaled nearly 55 million.

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Top Bullish Stock On Wednesday: Walgreen [Seeking Alpha]

Wednesday’s market sentiment was driven by extreme greed with the Fear & Greed Index at 92, which had decreased from the previous close of 94. As reported by CBOE, the total put/call ratio was 0.95 for the day. The index put/call ratio was 1.15, and the equity put/call ratio was 0.67. The CBOE volatility index (VIX) put/call ratio was 0.45. The top stock had been identified through our daily options scanning process, with the scanning criteria where the daily call volume ratio was above 2.00 (2x of the average call volume) with a call volume above 10,000.

Name (Ticker) Call Volume Average Call Volume Daily Volume Ratio
Walgreen Company (WAG) 14,072 4,022 3.50

Source: Schaeffer’s Research

Unusual option activities can be an indicator or precursor of a major movement for the underlying stock. This article will try to identify the bullish factors for Walgreen Company.

Walgreen Company

Walgreen Company is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with 8,516 drugstores in the United States. WAG had increased 9.32% and closed t $39.87 on January 30, 2013 since our last article, ‘Disappointing Numbers, But Walgreen Is Turning Around’, published on December 25, 2012.

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Disappointing Numbers, But Walgreen Is Turning Around [Seeking Alpha]

Walgreen Co. (WAG) is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with 8,516 drugstores in the United States. While Walgreen is expected to have a healthier 2013 as reviewed in my last article of “Walgreen Is Recovering And Will Be Healthier In 2013,” an updated review on Walgreen after its Q1, 2013 earnings report will be presented.

Q1, 2013 Earnings

On December 21, WAG reported adjusted first quarter earnings per diluted share of 58 cents, compared with adjusted earnings per diluted share of 71 cents in the year-ago quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share of 43 cents was lower than 63 cents in last year’s first quarter. The company also reported a decline in same-store sales by 8%, alongside an 11% drop in same-pharmacy sales. Total sales declined in the period by 4.6% to $17.32 billion. On average, analysts polled by Factset had most recently forecasted earnings of 70 cents a share for the period ended Nov. 30.

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Walgreen Is Recovering And Will Be Healthier In 2013

Walgreen Co. (WAG) is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with 8,516 drugstores in the United States. Prescription drugs account for about two thirds of WAG’s sales. WAG had been suffering from a sales decline until Sep. 15, due to exiting of Express Scripts (ESRX)’ pharmacy network, which cost Walgreen 85% of sales to Express Scripts members. With a new deal announced in mid-July, WAG and Express Scripts settled a long-running dispute to allow patients with Express Scripts plans to resume their prescriptions filled at WAG stores starting Sept. 15. With the new multi-year deal with ESRX, the slump may be over for WAG and its revenue and earnings are expected to grow in 2013.

November Sales

On Dec. 5, 2012, WAG reported November sales of $5.85 billion, a decrease of 3.9 percent from $6.09 billion for the same month in fiscal 2012. Despite the continued drop of prescriptions filled at comparable stores with a 2.9 percent decrease in November, the declining trend is narrowing since June, 2012, as seen from the chart below.

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