Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, which drove the stock price of the company higher by more than 4 percent to $56 a share on Tuesday around 2:55 this afternoon in New York.
During the quarter, Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) recorded $0.73 earnings per diluted shares, up by 15.9 percent compared with its $0.63 earnings per diluted share in the same period a year earlier. The company’s revenue rose by 5 percent to $17.94 billion.
The financial results of the drugstore chain beat the consensus EPS estimate Wall Street analysts at $0.72 earnings per share on $17.95 billion revenue based on data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
Walgreen’s financial results excluded some factors
According to Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), its financial results in the fourth quarter excluded the negative impact of $0.05 per diluted share on acquisitions related to amortization and $0.04 per diluted share on Alliance Boots-related tax, and additional $0.02 per diluted share on costs associated with change in prescription drug wholesalers and other acquisition related costs.
The drugstore chain also excluded the $0.06 per diluted share positive impact from fair value adjustments related to its warrants to buy the common stock of AmerisourceBergen’s common stock, and $0.01 per diluted share from its LIFO income during the quarter.
Walgreen had a solid quarter, CEO states
In a statement, Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) said, “We had a solid quarter across our entire business. We saw improvement in our daily living business resulting from the investments we made and enhanced execution. We also saw continued strength in our pharmacy business as we increased our retail pharmacy market share for the fiscal year to 19.1 percent, and we continued to make great progress on controlling selling, general and administrative costs.”
Wasson added that the company ended the year with record sales and free cash flow. According to him, Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) returned more than $1 billion capital to shareholders by increasing its dividend in 2013.
Balance Rewards cards program
During the earnings conference call of the company, Wasson said the Balance Rewards cards program has more than 85 million enrollees and described it as the “fastest growing loyalty program in the world.”
Commenting on the impact of the Obamacare to Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), Wasson was bullish. The Obama Care health exchanges opened for today for enrollment.
“We certainly know there is going to be an increase in the number of people that get insurance but we are not speculating on what that number is. However, “overall, we anticipate benefiting from that in a number of ways,” said Wasson.