Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter Results

Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter Results

Walgreens Boots Alliance Reports Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter Results

GAAP diluted net earnings per share increased 26.2 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $1.35; Adjusted diluted net earnings per share increased 15.0 percent to $1.53
GAAP net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 15.5 percent, to $1.3 billion; Adjusted net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 5.6 percent to $1.5 billion
Sales increased 14.0 percent to $34.3 billion
GAAP operating income increased 5.5 percent to $1.6 billion; Adjusted operating income increased 1.7 percent to $1.9 billion
GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $2.2 billion; Free cash flow was $1.9 billion
Share repurchase program and dividend increase

Company authorized $10 billion share repurchase program
Company declared 10 percent dividend increase
Fiscal 2018 guidance

Company raised the lower end of its guidance for fiscal year 2018 by 5 cents per share and now anticipates adjusted diluted net earnings per share of $5.90 to $6.05

DEERFIELD, Ill., June 28, 2018 – Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended 31 May 2018.

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said, “I am pleased that, in what has been a challenging environment, we have again delivered solid earnings per share growth combined with healthy cash flow. We expect to continue to drive growth, bringing more patients to our U.S. pharmacies through the recent acquisition of Rite Aid stores and through strategic partnerships. The $10 billion share repurchase program announced this morning demonstrates our confidence in future business performance and, as ever, our focus on driving long-term stockholder value.”

Overview of Third Quarter Results

Fiscal 2018 third quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance determined in accordance with GAAP increased 15.5 percent to $1.3 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago, while GAAP diluted net earnings per share increased 26.2 percent to $1.35 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Adjusted fiscal 2018 third quarter net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance1 increased 5.6 percent to $1.5 billion, up 4.6 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share for the quarter increased 15.0 percent to $1.53, up 13.5 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Sales in the third quarter were $34.3 billion, an increase of 14.0 percent from the year-ago quarter, and an increase of 11.8 percent on a constant currency basis.

GAAP operating income in the third quarter was $1.6 billion, an increase of 5.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted operating income in the third quarter was $1.9 billion, an increase of 1.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago, and an increase of 0.9 percent on a constant currency basis.

The company’s GAAP effective tax rate was 7.6 percent in the third quarter, compared with 12.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was due to the impact of U.S. tax law changes enacted in December 2017, including a revision to the company’s estimated transition tax accrual in the quarter. The adjusted effective tax rate, calculated excluding income from the company’s equity investment in AmerisourceBergen Corporation, was 16.7 percent in the third quarter compared with 19.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was due to the impact of the U.S. tax law changes.

GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $2.2 billion in the third quarter, and free cash flow was $1.9 billion.

Overview of Fiscal 2018 Year-to-Date Results

For the first nine months of fiscal 2018, net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance determined in accordance with GAAP increased 7.2 percent to $3.5 billion compared with the same period a year ago, while GAAP diluted net earnings per share increased 16.2 percent to $3.51 compared with the same period a year ago.

Adjusted net earnings attributable to Walgreens Boots Alliance1 for the first nine months of fiscal 2018 increased 10.2 percent to $4.5 billion, up 9.1 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same period a year ago. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share for the first nine months of fiscal 2018 increased 19.8 percent to $4.54, up 18.5 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales in the first nine months of fiscal 2018 were $98.1 billion, an increase of 11.4 percent from the same period a year ago, and an increase of 9.5 percent on a constant currency basis.

GAAP operating income in the first nine months of fiscal 2018 was $4.9 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent from the same period a year ago. Adjusted operating income in the first nine months of the fiscal year was $5.9 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from the same period a year ago, and an increase of 3.8 percent on a constant currency basis.

The company’s GAAP effective tax rate in the first nine months of fiscal 2018 was 19.4 percent compared with 16.2 percent for the first nine months of fiscal 2017. The increase primarily reflects net discrete tax benefits in the year-ago period. The company’s adjusted effective tax rate, calculated excluding income from the company’s equity investment in AmerisourceBergen Corporation, was 19.1 percent in the first nine months of fiscal 2018, compared with 22.7 percent for the first nine months of fiscal 2017. The decrease was due to the impact of the U.S. tax law changes.

GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $5.4 billion in the first nine months of fiscal 2018, and free cash flow was $4.4 billion.

Share Repurchase Program and Dividend Increase

As announced today, the company’s board of directors has authorized a $10 billion share repurchase program and declared a quarterly dividend of 44 cents per share, an increase of 10 percent. Please refer to the separate press release issued today for additional information.

Company Outlook

The company raised the lower end of its guidance for fiscal year 2018 by 5 cents per share and now anticipates adjusted diluted net earnings per share of $5.90 to $6.05.

This guidance assumes current exchange rates for the rest of the fiscal year. As previously announced, the company does not expect Rite Aid to significantly impact fiscal 2018 adjusted diluted net earnings per share.

Third Quarter Business Division Highlights

Retail Pharmacy USA:

Retail Pharmacy USA had third quarter sales of $25.9 billion, an increase of 15.0 percent over the year-ago quarter. Sales in comparable stores decreased 1.2 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Pharmacy sales, which accounted for 72.5 percent of the division’s sales in the quarter, increased 19.3 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, primarily due to higher prescription volume from the acquisition of Rite Aid stores and from central specialty. Comparable pharmacy sales were unchanged from the year-ago quarter, as brand inflation was offset by reimbursement pressure and the impact of generics. The division filled 285.2 million prescriptions (including immunizations) adjusted to 30-day equivalents in the quarter, an increase of 11.8 percent over the year-ago quarter. Prescriptions filled in comparable stores were unchanged from the same quarter a year ago. The division’s retail prescription market share on a 30-day adjusted basis in the third quarter increased approximately 190 basis points over the year-ago quarter to 22.4 percent, as reported by IQVIA. This was the division’s highest reported quarterly retail prescription market share in the U.S.

Retail sales increased 5.2 percent in the third quarter compared with the year-ago period. Comparable retail sales were down 3.8 percent in the quarter, reflecting continued focus on profitability.

GAAP gross profit increased 9.5 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago and adjusted gross profit increased 7.7 percent. On an adjusted basis, pharmacy and retail gross profit both increased.

GAAP third quarter selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) as a percentage of sales decreased 0.9 percentage point compared with the year-ago quarter, primarily due to sales mix and cost savings, partially offset by the higher cost mix of acquired Rite Aid stores. On an adjusted basis, SG&A as a percentage of sales decreased 0.9 percentage point in the same period, for similar reasons.

GAAP operating income in the third quarter increased 7.1 percent from the year-ago quarter to $1.3 billion. Adjusted operating income in the third quarter increased 2.0 percent from the year-ago quarter to $1.5 billion.

As previously announced, during the third quarter the company completed the acquisition of all 1,932 Rite Aid stores under the amended and restated asset purchase agreement. The company continues to expect to transition three distribution centers and related inventory beginning in fiscal 2019 and to complete the integration of acquired stores and related assets by the end of fiscal 2020.

Retail Pharmacy International:

Retail Pharmacy International had third quarter sales of $3.0 billion, an increase of 6.6 percent from the year-ago quarter due to favorable currency exchange rates. Sales decreased 2.1 percent on a constant currency basis.

On a constant currency basis, comparable store sales decreased 1.4 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Comparable pharmacy sales decreased 1.7 percent on a constant currency basis. Comparable retail sales decreased 1.3 percent on a constant currency basis mainly due to Boots UK.

GAAP gross profit increased 5.8 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago due to favorable currency exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, adjusted gross profit decreased 3.0 percent.

GAAP SG&A as a percentage of sales decreased 1.0 percentage point. Adjusted SG&A as a percentage of sales, on a constant currency basis, increased 0.1 percentage point.

GAAP operating income in the third quarter increased 21.1 percent from the year-ago quarter to $172 million. Adjusted operating income increased 2.6 percent to $198 million, down 9.3 percent on a constant currency basis.

Pharmaceutical Wholesale:

Pharmaceutical Wholesale had third quarter sales of $6.0 billion, an increase of 12.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, including the favorable impact of currency exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, comparable sales increased 4.0 percent, which was behind the company’s estimate of market growth, weighted on the basis of country wholesale sales, due to challenging market conditions in certain continental European countries partially offset by strong performance in emerging markets and the UK.

GAAP operating income in the third quarter was $176 million, which included $52 million from the company’s equity earnings in AmerisourceBergen, compared with GAAP operating income of $200 million in the year-ago quarter, which included $84 million from the company’s equity earnings in AmerisourceBergen. Adjusted operating income increased 1.6 percent to $257 million, up 0.4 percent on a constant currency basis.

Conference Call

Walgreens Boots Alliance will hold a one-hour conference call to discuss the third quarter results beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time today, 28 June 2018. The conference call will be simulcast through the Walgreens Boots Alliance investor relations website at: http://investor.walgreensbootsalliance.com. A replay of the conference call will be archived on the website for 12 months after the call.

The replay also will be available from 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, 28 June 2018 through 5 July 2018, by calling +1 855 859 2056 within the U.S. and Canada, or +1 404 537 3406 outside the U.S. and Canada, using replay code 7668398.

1 Please see the “Supplemental Information (Unaudited) Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures” at the end of this press release for more detailed information regarding non-GAAP financial measures.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: All statements in this release that are not historical including, without limitation, those regarding estimates of and goals for future tax, financial and operating performance and results (including those under “Company Outlook” above), the expected execution and effect of our business strategies, our cost-savings and growth initiatives, pilot programs and initiatives, and restructuring activities and the amounts and timing of their expected impact, and our amended and restated asset purchase agreement with Rite Aid and the transactions contemplated thereby and their possible timing and effects, are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expect,” “likely,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “preliminary,” “pilot,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “will,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “guidance,” “target,” “aim,” “continue,” “sustain,” “synergy,” “on track,” “on schedule,” “headwind,” “tailwind,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “upcoming,” “to come,” “may,” “possible,” “assume,” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, known or unknown, that could cause actual results to vary materially from those indicated or anticipated, including, but not limited to, those relating to the impact of private and public third-party payers’ efforts to reduce prescription drug reimbursements, fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, the timing and magnitude of the impact of branded to generic drug conversions and changes in generic drug prices, our ability to realize synergies and achieve financial, tax and operating results in the amounts and at the times anticipated, supply arrangements including our commercial agreement with AmerisourceBergen, the arrangements and transactions contemplated by our framework agreement with AmerisourceBergen and their possible effects, the risks associated with the company’s equity method investment in AmerisourceBergen, the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination, cross-termination or modification of any of our contractual obligations, the amount of costs, fees, expenses and charges incurred in connection with strategic transactions, whether the costs and charges associated with our store optimization program will exceed estimates, our ability to realize expected savings and benefits from cost-savings initiatives, restructuring activities and acquisitions and joint ventures in the amounts and at the times anticipated, the timing and amount of any impairment or other charges, the timing and severity of cough, cold and flu season, risks related to pilot programs and new business initiatives and ventures generally, including the risks that anticipated benefits may not be realized, changes in management’s plans and assumptions, the risks associated with governance and control matters, the ability to retain key personnel, changes in economic and business conditions generally or in particular markets in which we participate, changes in financial markets, credit ratings and interest rates, the risks associated with international business operations, including the risks associated with the proposed withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the risk of unexpected costs, liabilities or delays, changes in vendor, customer and payer relationships and terms, including changes in network participation and reimbursement terms and the associated impacts on volume and operating results, risks of inflation in the cost of goods, risks associated with the operation and growth of our customer loyalty programs, risks related to competition, risks associated with new business areas and activities, risks associated with acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and strategic investments, including those relating to the acquisition of certain assets pursuant to our amended and restated asset purchase agreement with Rite Aid, the risks associated with the integration of complex businesses, outcomes of legal and regulatory matters, and risks associated with changes in laws, including those related to the December 2017 U.S. tax law changes, regulations or interpretations thereof. These and other risks, assumptions and uncertainties are described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended 31 August 2017 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended 30 November 2017, each of which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, we do not undertake, and expressly disclaim, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

Please refer to the supplemental information presented below for reconciliations of the non-GAAP financial measures used in this release to the most comparable GAAP financial measure and related disclosures.

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