Walgreens beat Wall Street's earnings expectations for its fiscal second quarter, and the nation's largest drugstore chain again narrowed its annual forecast, as a light cold and flu season hurt drugstore sales, which fell short of forecasts.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) earned $930 million in the three months that ended Feb. 29. That's down 54 percent from the $2.04 billion the company reported in last year's quarter, due largely to an accounting change it booked in 2015 after Walgreens completed the acquisition of European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots.
Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.31 per share in the most recent quarter. Revenue rose nearly 14 percent to $30.18 billion.
Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $1.27 per share on $30.72 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
The Deerfield, Illinois-based company also said that it raised the low end of its annual forecast by 5 cents per share, after also raising that low end in January. The company now expects fiscal 2016 earnings to range between $4.35 and $4.55 per share.
Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of $4.48 per share, according to FactSet.
Walgreens runs more than 13,000 drugstores in 11 countries. It plans to boost that total by buying rival drugstore chain Rite Aid (RAD) for more than $9 billion, a deal expected to close later this year.
Shares of Walgreens fell $1.21, or 1.4 percent, to $85.10 in premarket trading Tuesday morning.
The stock had increased slightly more than 1 percent since the beginning of the year.