(Adds details on outlook, share price movement)
(Adds forecast withdrawal, share move; compares with estimates)
June 24 Walgreen Co, the largest U.S.
drug retailer, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit
and said it was withdrawing its forecast for 2016 as it moves
toward the complete acquisition of Alliance Boots Holdings Ltd
Shares of the company fell as much as 2.2 percent in
Walgreen said it would update investors on the Alliance
Boots transaction and issue a new forecast by late July or early
The company's adjusted profit missed the average analyst
estimate due to increased pressure on pharmacy gross profit
margins and weak customer traffic.
In 2012, Walgreen acquired a 45 percent stake in Alliance
Boots, which runs Europe's largest pharmacy chain, with an
option to buy the rest in 2015. Walgreen then forecast 2016
combined revenue of $130 billion.
The drugstore operator had expected adjusted operating
income of $9 to $9.5 billion for 2016.
The Illinois-based retailer's net income rose to $722
million, or 75 cents per share, in the third quarter ended May
31, from $624 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 91 cents per share, with
Alliance Boots contributing 15 cents.
Sales rose 5.9 percent to $19.40 billion.
Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.7 percent.
Analysts had expected a profit of 94 cents on revenue of
$19.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Walgreen's shares were down at $72.12 in premarket trading.
(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Don Sebastian)