Boston, MA 04/14/2014 (wallstreetpr) – Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) operates retail drugstores. Like most other companies, the drugstore retailer’s sales in the past several months were impacted by the harsh winter condition. However, March results came in stronger than expected, which suggest that the company is executing nicely to discontinue troubles.
The company operates about 8,700 store locations across 50 states and it is a leading player in the pharmacy sector. The company is currently undergoing restructuring with focus being on attaining efficiency amid significantly reduced expenses and strategic investments.
Talk about strategic investments and the company is entering partnership arrangements to take advantage of the looming opportunities in the healthcare industry. The broadened healthcare insurance market and the aging population are some of the tailwinds that the company is circling.
Cost-cutting and cash flow position
Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) has clear focus on cost reduction. As the company stimulates its revenue growth, curbing expenses should result in stronger earnings and improved free cash flow. With strong free cash flow, the drugstore operator should be able to return good amount of cash to shareholders through dividend and stock repurchase.
Cash back to shareholders
Talk about returning value to shareholders and the company recently announced quarter cash dividend payable June 12. The company announced $0.32 dividend per share, capturing investors of record as May 21. And with several challenges being discontinued, the company should also start returning bigger value to shareholder in form of shares buyback.
What about recent performance
The most recent sales results leave no doubt that Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) is entering promising territory. First and foremost, the company’s March sales were nothing but encouraging. Sales in the month of March increased 4.5 percent leading to revenue of $6.43 billion. That compared with revenue of $6.16 billion in corresponding month a year ago. It is worth noting that the strong results were realized in the month of March regardless of decline in flu incidents and impact from generic drugs.