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Walgreens (WAG) Shines with Profit Increase

San Francisco based drug store chain Walgreens Company (WAG) announced a 5.2% profit increase during its fiscal second quarter compared with last year’s second quarter. This was above analysts estimates for the company. The company credited much of the growth in profit to better cost control measures and stronger sales at established stores.

The company’s profit for the quarter, which ended February 29, was $686 million. This amounts to 69 cents per share in earnings, which definitely excited stock trading for the company as investors drove the shares up about 5% through trading portfolio additions, following the better than expected results.

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Analysts had projected 67 cents earnings per share for the quarter, so the actual results beat the street by two cents. This definitely gave the stock help as stock investing is driven by anticipation, and the positive surprise created a strong market reaction. During last year’s fiscal second quarter, earnings were $652 million, or 65 cents per share. The company did note that it benefited from one extra business day due to the leap year.

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Sales growth was strong with a rise of 10.5% to $15.4 billion. Prescription drugs, which are a key driver of the chain’s operations, accounted for 63% of its quarterly sales. This marked an 11% increase from last year’s second quarter. Existing store sales were also up 4.7%. This is an important indicator of growth as it monitors develop in established stores and takes out skewed performance sometimes attributed to new stores.

Walgreens has said it is looking to expand its business through acquisitions, in order to get more into whole health areas, especially those tied to increased emphasis on work-related health. Talk of growth is often enough to cause people to put stocks into their stock market portfolio.

Although Walgreens seems strong as a long-term investment, with its positive results and 38 cent annual dividend, covered call investing or covered call investing strategies, may not be a bad short-term profit idea. With the stock currently trading just below $39 after the surge, it is not far from its one year price target of $43.69. This presents the possibility of a short-term dip, or flat movement.

Given the strong gains in the equities markets in recent days, it may not be long before Walgreens sees another move up from stock investing. The company has traded in a fairly modest 52-week range, with its low at $32.50. It’s high point over the year was at $49.10. This suggests that if one year targets are conservative, more upwards price movement could be in the works.

As momentum grows, stock trading enthusiasts will be looking for easy trade executions to lock in good rates on the stock. Walgreens has long been a staple of the drug store retail industry. They are often an innovator within the industry and a driver of pharmaceutical advancements.

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[tags] San Francisco, February 29, WAG, Walgreen Co., covered call investing, covered call strategies, easy trade executions, investing in stock options, poweroptions, stock help, stock investing, stock market help, stock market investment strategies, stock options, stock trading [/tags]

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