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Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA)

  • Wed, Nov. 11, 8:59 AM
    • Grocer Safeway's (NYSE:SWY) much-ballyhooed initiative to build medical clinics in its supermarkets in which they would offer blood tests by diagnostics upstart Theranos is apparently DOA. The clinics, numbering about 800 and costing $350M to set up, are now used primarily for delivering flu shots and travel-related vaccines after Theranos kept delaying the roll-out of its tests and backed away from its plan to place its analyzers in each clinic, opting instead to ship the blood samples to a central location for testing.
    • Safeway's interest in providing wellness services was driven by then-CEO Steven Burd who retired in 2013. The plan was to establish upscale clinics in stores that would house Theranos' analyzers which would provide rapid test results from finger-stick samples.
    • The initial phase of the project ran into difficultly when comparative blood testing was performed at the headquarters clinic. Both finger stick and venous samples were taken from employee volunteers which gave them the impression that the finger stick samples were a work in progress. Not helping matters was a male volunteer who received a PSA result that indicated the presence of prostate cancer but came back normal when retested by another lab.
    • The project has been dormant for more than a year. CEO Elizabeth Holmes has ceased interacting with Safeway executives and has delegated the management of the relationship to President and COO Sunny Balwani.
    • Theranos' deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) to establish blood-testing centers in its stores is on hold (41 current locations) until questions about its technology are answered.
    • Previously: Walgreens halts openings of new Theranos centers (Oct. 24)
    • Previously: Theranos chief Holmes says technology sound (Oct. 21)
    | Wed, Nov. 11, 8:59 AM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 2, 7:27 PM
    • Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA +2.2%) says it would be willing to sell off up to 1,000 stores in order to wrap a buyout of Rite Aid (RAD +0.6%).
    • The company had said it had looked at antitrust concerns but hadn't put a number to what divestitures might be required.
    • One thousand of the stores would come to 8% of the combined companies' total footprint, though in a presentation filed with the SEC, Walgreens "believes the most likely outcome is divestments of less than half this number."
    • Walgreens said it expects the deal to be accretive during the first full year after closing, with synergies in excess of $1B, primarily from procurement, cost savings and operational synergies.
    • Previously: Regulatory concerns surround Walgreens, Rite Aid deal (Oct. 29 2015)
    | Mon, Nov. 2, 7:27 PM | 11 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 29, 2:32 AM
    • Top antitrust lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are calling for close scrutiny of Walgreens Boots Alliance's (NASDAQ:WBA) plan to buy Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), the latest healthcare consolidation following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
    • The deal would unite two of the three largest U.S. drugstore chains, the other being CVS Health (NYSE:CVS).
    • Walgreens Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said previously that the company had analyzed the antitrust aspect of the deal but did not speculate on the number of drugstores it might need to divest in order to win regulatory approval.
    • Previously: Walgreens buying Rite Aid for $17.2B ($9/share) (Oct. 27 2015)
    | Thu, Oct. 29, 2:32 AM | 28 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 28, 10:43 AM
    • Execs with Walgreen Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) said the EnvisionRX business it will swallow up as part of the Rite Aid purchase will help it learn how to increase PBM synergies. EnvisionRX was acquired by Rite Aid earlier this year for $2B.
    • A very interesting question on how many stores will be divested or closed as part of the Rite Aid deal goes unanswered. Walgreens will have strategic and regulatory reasons to make some store changes.
    • What about tobacco? As Walgreens pushed deeper into pharmacy benefits and healthcare services the sale of tobacco appears to be a stickler. For now, Walgreens has no update.
    • Management also talked about some positive trends in the front end of its stores.
    • Investors are in a selling mood this morning on WBA, shares are down 8.4% on heavy volume. It's possible the EPS impact of pulling the buyback program could be factoring in.
    • Previously: Walgreens Boots beats by $0.07, beats on revenue (Oct. 28 2015)
    • Previously: Synergies start to kick in for Walgreens Boots Alliance (Oct. 28 2015)
    • Walgreens Boots Alliance earnings call webcast
    | Wed, Oct. 28, 10:43 AM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 28, 7:45 AM
    • Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) reports total sales in comparable drugstores rose 6.4% in FQ4 off a 1.5% retail comp.
    • Pharmacy sales grew 8.2% on a 4.6% gain in prescription count for the quarter.
    • Adjusted gross margin rates (non-GAAP) by segment: Retail Pharmacy USA 26.3%, Retail Pharmacy International 42.6%, Pharmaceutical Worldwide 9.4%.
    • Total drugstore count -34 Y/Y to 8,173.
    • Combined synergy benefits for the full fiscal year came in at $799M.
    • Guidance: The company expects FY16 EPS of $4.25 to $4.55. The outlook reflects the suspension of the share repurchase program in order to finance the Rite Aid acquisition.
    • Previously: Walgreens Boots beats by $0.07, beats on revenue (Oct. 28 2015)
    • WBA +0.57% premarket to $95.70.
    | Wed, Oct. 28, 7:45 AM | Comment!
  • Wed, Oct. 28, 7:04 AM
    • Walgreens Boots (NASDAQ:WBA): FQ4 EPS of $0.88 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $28.52B (+49.6% Y/Y) beats by $70M.
    • Press Release
    | Wed, Oct. 28, 7:04 AM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 27, 5:30 PM
  • Tue, Oct. 27, 5:27 PM
    • Confirming media reports, Walgreens Boots (NASDAQ:WBA) announces it's buying fellow drugstore owner Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) for $17.2B after factoring debt, or $9/share, in cash. The deal is expected to close in 2H16; Walgreen expects to eventually reap over $1B/year in synergies.
    • The price represents a 48% premium to Rite Aid's Monday close, and is also $0.33 above Rite Aid's Tuesday close of $8.67. Nonetheless, Rite Aid is down 6.3% after hours to $8.12, as a healthy M&A arb spread opens. Walgreens is up 0.9% to $96.00, after rising 6.4% in regular trading.
    • Following the deal's closing, Rite Aid is expected to initially continue operating under its existing brand. However, decisions "will be made over time regarding the integration of the two companies, ultimately creating a fully harmonized portfolio of stores and infrastructure."
    • Walgreens plans to finance the deal with both debt and existing cash. It's expected to be accretive in its first year after closing.
    | Tue, Oct. 27, 5:27 PM | 89 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 27, 12:45 PM
    • Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) shares have reopened for trading with a 39.7% burst on a Dow Jones report that Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) is close to a deal to acquire the firm.
    • The deal -- which would link the No. 2 and No. 3 drugstore chains in the U.S. -- is expected to come tomorrow, sources tell Dow Jones.
    • Typical takeover premiums could value Rite Aid at close to $10B in the purchase, vs. its pre-news $6B market cap.
    • In its last quarter, Rite Aid’s profit sank due to cost of integrating recently acquired Envision Pharmaceutical Services, the WSJ notes.
    • Updated 12:55 p.m.: Walgreens shares have spiked on the news as well, up 4.3%.
    • Related: Riding The Rite Aid Roller Coaster (Oct. 27 2015)
    | Tue, Oct. 27, 12:45 PM | 44 Comments
  • Sat, Oct. 24, 7:50 AM
    • “We’re trying to figure out where we are and what we do going forward," a Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) source tells the WSJ. "We need to understand the truth."
    • The drugstore chain has "no concrete plans at this stage" to expand its partnership with Theranos beyond the 41 stores in Arizona and California which already include Theranos "wellness centers," reports the Journal. That partnership also includes an equity stake in the startup.
    • Walgreens made the move after meeting late this week with top brass at Theranos, including CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Said meeting came about after stories questioning the viability of the startup's technology. Walgreens was also unaware of the FDA's surprise inspection of Theranos facilities in August and September, according to sources.
    • Previously: Theranos chief Holmes says technology sound (Oct. 21)
    • Related tickers: Abbot Labs (NYSE:ABT), Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), Lab Corp. (NYSE:LH), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY)
    | Sat, Oct. 24, 7:50 AM | 21 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 14, 4:20 PM
    • Walgreens Boots (NASDAQ:WBA) declares $0.36/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.71%
    • Payable Dec. 11; for shareholders of record Nov. 16; ex-div Nov. 12.
    | Wed, Oct. 14, 4:20 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 2, 9:26 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will be the number two player in non-food consumables by 2018, according to a new report from Cowen & Company.
    • The company is leveraging its powerful Prime platform to gain market share in the highly-competitive field by highlighting to consumers its advantages on pricing and delivery.
    • Amazon's gains could come at the expense of store traffic for Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA), notes Cowen.
    • The Amazon Effect could also impact pricing in the personal care, household, pet, and baby products sectors - a wide swath of the consumer goods industry that impacts companies such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Avon Products (NYSE:AVP), Revlon (NYSE:REV), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB), Carter's (NYSE:CRI), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), Ulta Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA), Unilever (UN, UL), and Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD) as they negotiate deals.
    • Related ETFs: IYK, UGE, SZK
    | Fri, Oct. 2, 9:26 AM | 33 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 30, 11:14 AM
    • Tomorrow is the deadline for retailers and banks to have adopted EMV technology to process credit cards payments.
    • Banks and merchants that haven't made the switch to chip-enabled cards could face additional liability for fraudulent payments.
    • Some large retail chains such as Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) have made the change, while others are reportedly lagging.
    • In the long run, EMV technology is expected to reduce the amount of money lost to card fraud in the retail industry.
    | Wed, Sep. 30, 11:14 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 29, 12:04 PM
    • The Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) chain will provide up to $15M worth of free flu shot vouchers through a deal with the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • The company is expected to get its normal seasonal burst of traffic tied to the flu season. This year, the CDC has been even more vocal in advocating that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine.
    • Flu shots have been a significant traffic driver for Walgreens over the last few years and boosted incremental sales.
    | Tue, Sep. 29, 12:04 PM | 9 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 25, 1:35 PM
    • The Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) chain is suffering from a computer database failure of its pharmacy database this week.
    • The ongoing issue has forced pharmacists at some stores to use manual procedures.
    • Pharmacy sales outpaced front-end store sales during the company's last quarter.
    | Fri, Sep. 25, 1:35 PM | 11 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 16, 9:30 AM
    • Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) is the latest retail chain to offer same-day delivery to customers.
    • The company is partnering with Postmates for a same-day delivery service available from select stores for a flat fee of $4.99 per trip.
    | Wed, Sep. 16, 9:30 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc operates drug-stores chain in the United States. It provides consumer goods and services, pharmacy, and health and wellness services through drug-stores, as well as mail, and by telephone and online.
Sector: Services
Industry: Drug Stores
Country: United States