Walgreens earnings slide as it faces more competitors

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Wednesday posted first-quarter results that fell well short of Wall Street expectations, as investors wait to see whether the community pharmacy chain can go private as it confronts a swiftly changing U.S. health care marketplace.

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Wednesday posted first-quarter results that fell well short of Wall Street expectations, as investors wait to see whether the community pharmacy chain can go private as it confronts a swiftly changing U.S. health care marketplace. The company's adjusted earnings per share of $1.37 were lower than the $1.41 expected by analysts, on average. Net income fell sharply from a year earlier. The company affirmed its 2020 guidance for roughly flat earnings. Comparable community pharmacy sales in the United States were up 1.6% from a year earlier, short of the growth analysts expected, amid intense competition from discount stores and Internet retailers. Profit margins in Walgreens' flagship U.S. pharmacy business were eroded by reimbursement pressure, the company said. Gross profit decreased 5.2% year over year. Walgreens shares fell 3.2% early Wednesday in New York.