Apr. 11, 2014, 4:01 AM
- The White House has confirmed that Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning and will be replaced by Sylvia Burwell, the director of the Office of Management & Budget, assuming the latter is confirmed by the Senate.
- Sebelius' departure comes after she said in October that she should be held "accountable for the debacle" of the launch of Obamacare, although the program did reach the government's target of 7M sign-ups by the end of March. She said yesterday that at least 7.5M people have enrolled.
- One of Burwell's first challenges will be to work with health insurers as they set prices for Obamacare plans in 2015, which industry executives have warned could rise sharply.
- More on Obamacare
- Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MO
- Hospital operators: HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT
- Pharmacies: WAG, CVS, BIOS, RAD, MHS, PMC, OCR
- ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
Apr. 10, 2014, 10:57 AM
- Per CVS Caremark's (CVS) Insights report prescription drug trend rose 3.8% last year versus flat growth in 2012. Growth drivers were price inflation and increased utilization (more prescriptions per member).
- Specialty medications that treat more complex diseases grew by 15.6%.
- The company generates the report, which includes an outline of cost containment strategies, to assist payers with their management of prescription drug spending.
- Drug trend is the measure of growth in prescription spending per member per month.
- The generic dispensing rate was 81.4%.
- (RAD) (WAG)
Apr. 9, 2014, 1:52 PM
Apr. 3, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The buyer is Water Street Health Care Partners, and Walgreens (WAG +0.8%) will retain a minority stake in Take Care and be the preferred strategic partner with Water Street.
- Take Care is a Walgreens subsidiary managing over 360 worksite health centers across the country. At the same time, Water Street has agreed to get a piece of CHS Health Care Services, a provider of 130 worksite health centers.
- Financial terms were not disclosed and Walgreens doesn't expect the deal to have a material impact this fiscal year.
- Press release
Apr. 3, 2014, 11:59 AM
- Rite Aid (RAD +2.6%) joins Walgreen (WAG +0.8%) in reporting higher same-store sales for March; RAD says same-store sales climbed 0.7% and pharmacy comps rose 3.5% helped by a 1.1% increase in prescriptions, but front-end sales slipped 5% due in part to a late Easter.
- Alan Stacy's calculation shows total drugstore sales for the month, which rose 0.4% to $1.95B, would have increased by 1.7% if Easter had fallen in March.
- Earlier: Walgreen comp sales up 3.5%.
Apr. 3, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Overall sales of $6.43B were 4.5% higher than a year ago, with sales in comparable stores up 3.5%. With Easter not coming until April 20 this year, total front-end sales fell 2.6% in March, and comparable front-end sales fell 3.4%.
- Walgreen (WAG +0.9%) March pharmacy sales increased 8.9%, with comparable store pharmacy sales up 8% (adjusting for calendar day shift, sales were up 7.1%).
- Press release
Mar. 26, 2014, 7:32 AM
- Amidst the flurry of regulatory warnings to Indian generic drug manufacturers, other firms will quickly step in to satisfy demand. Those who can demonstrate a strong emphasis on quality will have an edge.
- India's Ranbaxy Labs, the largest manufacturer by sales, had its products banned by the FDA in January because of repeated quality problems.
- (ACT) (TEVA) (MYL) (CVS) (WAG)
Mar. 26, 2014, 7:16 AM
- Execs with Walgreen (WAG) dodged a question during the firm's earnings call yesterday on if the company planned to cease selling tobacco products.
- The company didn't disclose any plans to follow the lead of CVS Caremark in exiting the tobacco market, but also pointed toward its products which are geared toward smokers looking to quit.
- "We think we are well positioned to help folks change their behavior who want to quit," said CEO Greg Wasson.
- Reading between the lines, a wait-and-see approach appears to be in place on tobacco for Walgreen.
- Earnings call transcript
Mar. 25, 2014, 11:46 AM
- Walgreen (WAG +3.1%) CEO Greg Wasson says the company will close 76 unprofitable stores in the second half of the company's fiscal year.
- Most of the locations will be ones that are situated in close proximity to another Walgreens.
- The synergies from the Alliance Boots acquisition will continue to be a bottom-line driver for the company. By all accounts, the integration is on schedule.
- The combination of a harsh winter and a mild flu season cut into store traffic and margins during FQ2, according to execs.
- Earnings call transcript
Mar. 25, 2014, 7:46 AM
- Walgreen (WAG) reports comparable-store sales rose 4.3% during FQ2.
- Customer traffic slipped 1.4% due in part to tough weather trends, while the average basket size rose 3.4% as customers made the most out of their reduced trips to Walgreens outlets.
- Total prescription sales were up 7% for the period as the Walgreens chain increased its retail prescription market share by 20 bps to 19.0%.
- The company says combined synergies for Walgreen and Alliance Boots was $236M for the first half of its fiscal year.
- An enrollment of 80M active members in Walgreen's Balance Rewards loyalty program at the end of the quarter looks downright formidable.
- WAG +0.2% premarket
Mar. 25, 2014, 7:31 AM
Mar. 25, 2014, 12:05 AM
Mar. 24, 2014, 5:30 PM
Mar. 17, 2014, 9:16 AM
- More than two dozen states are pressuring retail giants to stop selling tobacco products.
- Letters from state AGs went out to Rite Aid (RAD), Walgreen (WAG), Kroger (KR), Safeway (SWY), and Walmart (WMT).
- CVS Caremark isn't in receipt of the request after previously stating it would cease tobacco product sales.
Feb. 28, 2014, 12:49 PM| 2 Comments
Feb. 13, 2014, 10:34 AM
WBA vs. ETF Alternatives
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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