I must confess up front to an addiction. It doesn't involve drugs or alcohol, thankfully. It has to do with same-store sales. When it comes to this number, I am hopeless, always in need of a double-digit increase for a fix. Well, I found one in Walgreen
The retail pharmacy reported a 15.6% increase in overall sales when compared with June 2003, coming in at $3.126 billion versus $2.704 billion. That's a wonderful figure in and of itself, but the comp-sales component of that total represented a 10.6% increase, and we all know that comp sales are where it's at because these revenues, derived from stores that have been open for a year or longer, tend to more accurately reflect the underlying health of a retail chain. Stores that have just opened or haven't been around as long as a year tend to skew the interpretation of fundamental growth trends, on the theory that people might be transiently drawn to a new location; the best measure of loyalty and success comes from sales data at aging locations.
So I love this metric, and I love these results. Walgreen had a more mellow outing in May with same-store sales, which came in at 8.5%. But since the company's last quarterly checkup was quite copacetic, I can dismiss those results (besides, anything more than 8% is still dandy).
Walgreen will have to watch out going forward, since CVS
Well, the shakes have ceased since I got my fix for double-digit-comp-sales increases (I didn't think I was going to make it). In closing, why not check out this chart of all three drugstore companies mentioned and see how things have been faring. CVS is certainly looking like the healthy horse.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Coca-Cola, but none of the other companies mentioned.