Chicago Walgreen Co. said February same-store sales rose just 0.4%, crimped by a lower incidence of the flu versus a year earlier.
The rise was nearly in line with the 0.5% increase analysts had anticipated.
It was the first monthly same-store sales rise at Walgreen since November.
Prescription and general merchandise sales were both pressured by the mild-winter flu season. Also, consumers continued to hold off buying discretionary items.
Same-store sales at Walgreens' pharmacy counters rose 0.9%, topping analysts' expectations for a 0.6% gain.
General merchandise same-store sales fell 0.6%, while analysts had expected a 0.9% decline.
Total sales climbed 3.2% to $5.31 billion.
Walgreen had 7,179 drug stores at the end of February, which is 501 more than a year earlier. That tally includes 59 stores acquired over the last year. It does not include the pending acquisition of New York's Duane Reade drug chain.