Walgreens' June sales beat expectations

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ stock was trading up 30 cents to $43.03 on the New York Stock Exchange mid-morning on Wednesday thanks to favorable same-store sales growth of 4.8% for the month of June versus an analyst consensus estimate of 2.8%.

Much of that sales growth can be traced to the front-end, as Walgreens posted 4.7% increased sales across comparable stores against tougher year-over-year comparisons. Before Walgreens reported June sales, Credit Suisse analyst Ed Kelly projected a 3% same-store sales increase driven by re-inflation and improving customer traffic. “We believe sales will continue to improve throughout the year [across the drug channel], as drug stores pass through product cost inflation without a meaningful impact to volume,” Kelly said.

Overall, Walgreens reported June sales of $6 billion, up 6.8% as compared with last year. Total front-end sales were up 6.4%. In addition to the 4.7% front-end same-store sales lift, customer traffic in comparable stores increased 1.3% and basket size increased 3.4%.

June pharmacy sales across Walgreens increased 6.2%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 4.9%. Pharmacy sales accounted for 65.6% of total sales for the month.

Walgreens opened 15 stores during June, including two relocations, acquired seven stores and closed one for a net increase of 19 stores in the month.

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