Walgreen (NASDAQ:WBA) this morning reported fiscal 2014 third-quarter earnings that came in shy of Wall Street's estimates. For the period ended May 31, Walgreen generated a profit of $0.91 per diluted share. This was a 7% increase from the same period of 2013 in which the pharmacy chain posted a profit of $0.85 per diluted share. Even so, it was below analyst estimates for earnings per share of $0.94. Walgreen's third-quarter revenue, on the other hand, came in at $19.4 billion, up 5.9% from $18.3 billion in the year-ago period and in line with the Street's expectations.
Walgreen's stake in European drugstore chain Alliance Boots contributed $0.15 per diluted share to the company's adjusted earnings in the quarter. As a result, the company now expects second-year "synergies" from its strategic partnership with Alliance Boots to the tune of $400 million to $450 million, up from its prior guidance of $375 million to $425 million.
The pharmacy retailer said third-quarter adjusted earnings also benefited from a lower income tax. Additionally, front-end comparable sales, or sales excluding pharmacy-related purchases, increased 2.2% in the quarter, despite a decrease in traffic at stores open at least a year. Total same-store sales climbed 4.8%. Prescription sales increased 8.4% year over year and accounted for 64.4% of Walgreen's revenue in the period.
Shares of Walgreen's were trading down by more than 1% before the market opened on Tuesday.
Tamara Rutter has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.