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Walgreens raised its full-year outlook after beating Wall Street earnings expectations for the first quarter largely due to COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters and tests.
|WBA||WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.||53.30||-0.70||-1.30%|
The retailer posted first quarter sales of $33.9 billion, up 7.8% year-over-year, on a quarterly profit of $3.6 billion, or $4.13 per share, up from a loss of $391 million, or 45 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted EPS from continuing operations was $1.68.
Walgreens said it administered 15.6 million vaccinations and 6.5 million tests in the first quarter. It has also administered over 9 million booster doses to date.
Looking ahead, Walgreens is now forecasting adjusted earnings per share guidance of low-single digit growth, up from flat previously.
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The company's U.S. segment posted first quarter sales of $28 billion, up 3.2% year-over-year, held back by a decline in the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime business. Comparable sales increased 7.9% from the year-ago quarter, pharmacy sales excluding the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime business grew 5.8% year-over-year and comparable pharmacy sales climbed 6.8% year-over-year.
Walgreens' U.S. retail sales climbed 10.1% year-over-year and comparable retail sales increased 10.6% year-over-year. Excluding, tobacco and e-cigarettes, comparable retail sales surged 11.7%. The health and wellness category jumped 24.7%, aided by at-home COVID-19 tests and cough cold flu, and beauty and personal care increased 16.6% and 11.6%, respectively. U.S. digital sales grew 88%, fueled by 3.6 million same day pick-up orders in the quarter.