A Boots store

Walgreens Boots Alliance posted an uptick in sales and earnings for its third fiscal quarter — the same day it unveiled a new merger agreement with Rite Aid.

Net earnings were up 5.3 percent to $1.2 billion for the quarter, while diluted net earnings per share increased 5.9 percent year-over-year to $1.07. Net sales increased 2.1 percent to $30.1 billion.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, net earnings increased 4.2 percent year-over-year to $3.3 billion, with diluted net earnings per share up 4.9 percent to $3.02. Sales dipped 0.7 percent for the first nine months of the fiscal year versus the year-ago period, but were up 2.3 percent on a constant-currency basis.

Walgreens raised the lower end of its fiscal 2017 guidance by 8 cents a share, and now expects adjusted diluted net EPS of between $4.98 and $5.08.

The business has come to a new merger agreement with Rite Aid, under which Walgreens will buy 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory for $5.175 billion. Walgreens will also assume related real estate leases and other liabilities. The new deal replaces the $9.4 billion one revealed in October 2015, which included an agreement to divest certain Rite Aid stores to Fred’s Inc. That deal — where Fred’s Pharmacy would have taken on 865 Rite Aid stores — has been terminated.

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