The drugstore chain reported earnings that were 14% higher at $0.48 per diluted share, or $490.9 million. Sales increased 12% to $11 billion, with the company stating that front-end and pharmacy sales both increased 4% and 14%, respectively. Gross profit margins continued to expand, climbing 83 basis points to 28.49%, benefiting from growth in generic drug sales, digital photofinishing, and better purchasing terms.
However, there are a few points for contemplation. For one, if you take out a gain from a litigation settlement, the results came in just shy of Wall Street's expectations. Of course, that's not something that necessarily bothers the Foolish investor.
On the other hand, Walgreen trades at a P/E of 33, a pretty steep multiple compared to rivals CVS
And there might be reason to worry about recent word that General Motors
Of course, Walgreen has continually pulled off comps like this and quarters like this. There's a perfectly good argument that given Walgreen's historical strength, one might surmise that it's well equipped to weather any storms that come its way -- despite any concerns that it's currently a pricey investment.
What do you think of Walgreen's earnings? Chime in on our Walgreen discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.