Illinois’ pharmacy chain Walgreens to invest $5.5bn in health services push



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Illinois’ pharmacy chain Walgreens to invest $5.5bn in health services push

Walgreens Boots Alliances Inc., the Deerfield, Illinois-headquartered second-largest pharmacy store chain operator in the United States, had issued a statement on Thursday saying that the US pharmacy megalith would acquire majority stakes in two smaller health care providers for a stark sum of $5.5 billion, as the pharmacy store chain appeared to be branching out its focus beyond drugstore businesses.

However, the latest Walgreens announcement came forth shortly after the US pharmacy store behemoth had swiftly beaten an analysts’ estimate for its fourth-quarter profits, mostly boosted up by ease in pandemic-led restriction alongside pandemic vaccination campaigns at its stores.

Followed by the release of its Q4 quarterly earnings report, shares’ prices of Walgreens jumped as much as 13.35 per cent before wrapping up the day 7.25 per cent higher at $50.68 apiece.

Walgreens beats Q4 profit estimates

According to Walgreens’ fourth quarterly earnings’ report, same-store sales at the Illinois-headquarter drugstore chain grew 8.8 per cent compared to the same time a year earlier, while excluding items, Walgreens had reported a net income of $1.17 per share, beating an analysts’ estimate of $1.02 per share, IBES data from Refinitiv had unveiled.

Aside from that, Walgreens had said in a statement that the pharmacy store chain would invest as many as $5.2 billion in VillageMD, raising its stake at the primary health care provider to 63 per cent, while it also would lay off about $330 million in CareCentrix what in effect would lift Walgreens’ stake in the post-acute and home care provider to 55 per cent.

Meanwhile, adding that the deals would help cushion up a cost-hike in management of high-risk patients, Walgreens’ newly appointed Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer said, “These are the same patients who frequently visit our stores and meet with our pharmacists”.