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March 25, 2014
14:23 EDTWAG, RAD, CVSWalgreens climbs after reporting same-store sales gain, store closure plans
Shares of drug store owner Walgreens (WAG) are advancing despite the company reporting lower than expected profits as its revenue came in close to expectations and said its Alliance Boots synergies are tracking ahead of expectations. WHAT'S NEW: Walgreens reported earnings per share, excluding some items, of 91c for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, compared with analysts' consensus estimate of 93c. The retailer's Q2 revenue was $19.6B, in-line with the consensus estimate. Walgreens' same-store sales rose 4.3% last quarter. Moreover the company predicted that its fiscal 2016 revenue, including a contribution from Alliance Boots, would be over $130B. Walgreens has a 45% stake in Alliance Boots and has an option to acquire the rest of the European retailer in 2015. "Our second quarter performance, in spite of expected headwinds from slower generic drug introductions, comparisons with last year’s flu season and severe weather, was marked by solid top-line growth driven by record quarterly sales and record second-quarter prescriptions filled,” said Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson in a statement. “We also continued to gain prescription market share while we maintained a firm hold on our costs," Wasson added. Walgreens also announced that as part of its efforts to optimize the company’s asset base, it plans to close 76 drugstores during the second half of this fiscal year. Including these store closures, Walgreens still expects a net increase in its store count in fiscal 2014 of approximately 55-75 locations. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Walgreens rose $1.75, or 2.72%, to $66.06. Other major U.S. drug store chains also climbed, with Rite Aid (RAD) adding 2.4% and CVS (CVS) gaining 0.6%.
News For WAG;CVS;RAD From The Last 14 Days
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November 25, 2015
07:25 EDTRADDeutsche Bank sees no competing bid for Rite Aid
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November 23, 2015
14:10 EDTCVSAmgen's PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha gets exclusive deal with CVS
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10:51 EDTRADOptions with increasing implied volatility: TERP BRCM CHK RAD POM
09:21 EDTCVSConsolidated Tomoka disposes non-core income property for about $5.4M
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05:56 EDTRADStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; WMT RAD
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November 20, 2015
05:34 EDTRADStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; NUAN RAD
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November 18, 2015
15:40 EDTCVS, RADCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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11:01 EDTCVSTarget says working with CVS team to secure regulatory approval for deal
Target (TGT) says "pleased" with progress to date of CVS (CVS) deal.
05:40 EDTRADStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; YUM RAD
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November 17, 2015
10:17 EDTCVSHouse Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing
The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law holds a hearing entitled, "The State of Competition in the Pharmacy Benefit Manager and Pharmacy Marketplaces" with Vice President Bricker of Express Scripts and Senior Vice President Pons of CVS Health on November 17 at 3 pm. Webcast Link
November 16, 2015
09:06 EDTRAD, CVSDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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