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Key Walgreen revenue metric sinks 6.2 pct in Nov

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm •  Published: December 5, 2012

The split sent Walgreen customers to its competitors to get their prescriptions filled. Walgreen did not mention Express Scripts in its statement on November sales. It hasn't mentioned the split for the past few months.

Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig said in a Wednesday research note the split was one of several reasons behind Walgreen's drop in revenue from stores open at least a year. She called the company's November performance disappointing.

Other analysts said the drugstore chain is showing signs of recovery. Prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year fell nearly 3 percent in November. Morningstar analyst Matt Coffina said in a phone interview that figure has been improving since the middle of the year.

"The bigger, underlying story is they seem to be recapturing a fair bit of Express Scripts prescriptions," he said.

Credit Suisse analyst Edward J. Kelly also said in a Wednesday research note Walgreen appears to be doing a better job recapturing the lost business. He said a cutback in promotions by Walgreen and competition also are hurting the drugstore chain's sales.

Total revenue for Walgreen's first fiscal quarter, which ended Nov. 30, dropped nearly 5 percent to $17.34 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, revenue of $17.64 billion, according to FactSet.

Walgreen operated 8,057 drugstores at the end of last month, or 246 more than a year ago.

Walgreen shares climbed more than 4 percent, or $1.43, to $35.70 in afternoon trading Wednesday. The stock has traded between $28.53 and $37.34 in the past 52 weeks, and is up more than 7 percent since the start of the year.