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Walgreens February Comp Sales Down 0.6%

Drugstore chain Walgreens (WAG) announced Tuesday that comparable store sales, or sales at stores open for one year or more, edged down 0.6 percent in February, with total sales, including stores open less than a year, also declining 2.2 percent from last year.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based company reported that total sales, including stores open less than a year, decreased 2.2 percent to $5.75 billion in the month of February, from $5.88 billion in the same period of last year. However, excluding 2012 February's leap day, sales increased 1.5 percent.

The company noted that all comparable store sales and comparable prescription figures compare the first 28 days each in February 2012 to February 2013.

Total comparable store sales also edged down 0.6 percent, which had a negative impact of 3.7 percentage points due to generic drug introductions over the past 12 months.

At the company's pharmacy counters, sales for the month decreased 2.1 percent, bit increased 2.0 percent when excluding the 2012 February leap day. Comparable store pharmacy sales remained flat, negatively impacted by 6.0 percentage points due to due to generic drug introductions.

Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores for the month of February increased 6.5 percent, including a 0.1 percentage point positive impact higher incidence of flu, while Flu shots had no impact on comparable store sales.

The company noted that the percentage of Express Scripts (ESRX) customers filling prescriptions at its pharmacies continued to increase in February on a flu-adjusted basis.

The company noted that flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season-to-date grew to nearly 7.0 million from about 5.5 million last year.

Total front-end sales in February declined 3.1 percent or remained flat after excluding last year's extra leap day, and comparable store front-end sales was down 0.4 percent. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 4.9 percent, while basket size increased 3.5 percent.

During the month of February, Walgreens opened eleven stores, including five re-locations, and one closure.

For fiscal 2013 year-to-date six-month period, total sales declined 2.3 percent to $35.95 billion from the year-ago period. Meanwhile, sales grew 2.2 percent to $11.91 billion for the calendar year-to-date two-month period.

In Tuesday's regular trading session, WAG is currently trading at $40.72, down $1.05 or 2.51% on a volume of 0.13 million shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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