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Dec. 31, 2014, 8:16 AM
- The Walgreens drugstore chain is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WAG) after the second step of the merger between the two companies was completed today.
- Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol (WBA).
- Debate on SA over the direction of the new global drugstore giant is underway: Shares fully valued, shares undervalued.
Dec. 30, 2014, 11:33 AM
- Walgreen (WAG -0.3%) is out with its latest flu activity report amid what's believed to be a wider outbreak than last year.
- Based on today's read from Walgreen - residents of Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee are most at risk this week.
- The company reported a 14.8% bump in flu shots administered in November.
- Typically, an increase in flu shots administered by Walgreens also boosts front-end sales at the drugstore chain.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:38 AM
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) reports comparable-store sales rose 1.5% in FQ1.
- Traffic at stores was down 2.7% on a comp basis, while the average basket size improved 4.2%.
- Pharmacy sales were up 9% on a 4.3% gain in prescription count for the quarter.
- Gross profit margin -100 bps to 27.1%.
- SG&A expenses +1.8% to $4.456B.
- WAG +2.3% premarket.
Dec. 23, 2014, 7:34 AM
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG): FQ1 EPS of $0.81 beats by $0.06.
- Revenue of $19.55B (+6.7% Y/Y) beats by $50M.
- Shares +2.33% PM.
Dec. 22, 2014, 5:30 PM| Dec. 22, 2014, 5:30 PM
Dec. 20, 2014, 10:17 AM
- The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 3.4% over the last month to outpace the S&P 500 Index as consumer spending trends improve. Analysts have honed in on some categories which show some promise for growth.
- Drugstores: The transition by the sector into more health/wellness services sets it up for new growth channels. CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) reported strong comparable-store sales despite the full tobacco exit, while Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) is prepping for a roll-out of RediClinics and HealthSpot kiosks. The visibility on Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) is somewhat clouded by the giant Alliance Boots integration, although it's ahead of rivals on the tech front with its rewards program, pharmacy app and developing online doctor concept.
- Athleisure: There's some gender initiatives going on in the athletic apparel sector with Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and Nike (NYSE:NKE) growing their women's business and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) expanding on the men's side. All three companies have been closely on-trend with their assortment in a category with explosive demand. Importantly, pricing has held up this holiday season in the U.S., note retail watchers.
- Online replenishing: Fresh research into shopping trends indicates certain categories see continued buying through the online channel as consumers become attuned to a brand. Retailers positioned well to see more gains from the trend include Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP), Sephora (OTCPK:LVMHF), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), and of course Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- P-E buyouts: There are plenty of candidates in the retail sector for a leveraged buyout similar to the action that helped propel shares of PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) +40% from their lows. Keep an eye on Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), and Ann (NYSE:ANN).
Dec. 19, 2014, 5:07 PM
- Once Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) finishes acquiring the 55% of Alliance Boots it doesn't yet own, the company will move to the Nasdaq and change its symbol to WBA. The company will delist from both the NYSE and the Chicago Stock Exchange.
- On Dec. 10, Walgreens announced (to investor approval) CEO Greg Wasson will retire once the Alliance merger is finished. Shareholders vote on the deal on Dec. 29.
Dec. 11, 2014, 9:30 AM
- Retail sales struck their biggest gain since March on broad strength.
- What's working: Strong growth was seen in auto parts (PBY, ORLY, AZO, AAP, MNRO) with the broad parts category showing year-over-year sale growth of over 8% in November. Sales were up 6.8% Y/Y for health and personal care stores (ULTA, SBH, CVS, WAG, RAD) during the month.
- What's not working: Department stores (DDS, M, SSI, BONT, SHLD, JCP, KSS, JWN) went backwards with sales off 1.1% from a year ago. No surprise, but sales at gas stations (CASY, KR, PTRY) also fell off from a year ago.
- Retail ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, IYK, FXD, IYC, FDIS, SCC, UCC, PMR, UGE, RCD, SZK.
Dec. 10, 2014, 4:33 PM
- Greg Wasson, Walgreens' (NYSE:WAG) CEO since 2009, will retire once the company's merger with Alliance Boots is finished. Shareholders are set to vote on the deal on Dec. 29.
- Alliance chairman Stefano Pessina will serve as acting CEO while the board searches for a successor. Walgreens chairman James Skinner will become the executive chairman of the combined company.
- Investors are reacting favorably to the news. WAG +2.2% AH.
Dec. 10, 2014, 9:09 AM
Dec. 9, 2014, 8:37 PM
- A new app from Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) gives customers in California and Michigan the option to consult with a board-certified doctor online.
- The company, which is partnering with MDLive on the project, plans to roll out the initiative in more states next year.
- Doctors can write prescriptions based on the online consults which are expected to last 10 to 15 minutes.
- Walgreens introduced a pharmacy chat option off its app earlier this year.
Dec. 8, 2014, 11:06 AM
- CTW Investment Group sends a letter to shareholders of Walgreen (WAG -0.3%) asking them to vote against the proposed merger with Alliance Boots.
- The stakeholder points out that Walgreen has conceded most of the benefits from the combination could be realized by just remaining business partners.
- "Alliance Boots currently faces an increasingly unfavorable environment in its main European markets," warns CTW.
- SEC filing
Dec. 3, 2014, 8:29 AM
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) reports sales improved 4.9% to $6.36B in November.
- Total front-end sales +1.3% on a +0.8% comp.
- Customer traffic in comparable stores was down 3.3%, while basket size increased 4.1%.
- November pharmacy sales were up 7.6%.
- Flu shots administered season-to-date +14.8% to 7.0M.
Nov. 20, 2014, 10:45 AM
- The usual suspects topped a list of the businesses with the most foot traffic in October, compiled by location analytics firm Placed.
- The top five chains were Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Subway, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and Walgreens (NYSE:WAG).
- Significant movers over the last month include KMart (NASDAQ:SHLD) +9 spots, KFC (NYSE:YUM) +6 spots, Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) -7 spots, and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) -6 spots.
Nov. 10, 2014, 3:24 PM
- Walgreen (WAG +1.3%) announces pricing for the sale of debt through its Walgreen Boots Alliance subsidiary.
- Bond offerings will include £400M of 2.875% notes due in 2020, £300M of 3.600% notes due in 2025, and €750M of 2.125% notes due in 2026.
Nov. 10, 2014, 7:02 AM
- Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) plans to sell bonds in Europe to help finance its purchase of Alliance Boots, according to Bloomberg.
- It's a move viewed as logical by analysts with the Walgreen Boots Alliance unit bringing in European revenue.
- The sale is expected to include £600M ($954M) of notes split between 6-year and 10-year maturities and up to €750M euros ($937M) of 12-year bonds.
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.
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