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Walgreen Company (WAG), Rite Aid Corporation (RAD): This Drug Store’s Rally Is Far from Over

Drug retailers may not score as big as the manufacturer when a certain drug passes the test. On the other hand, they carry little risk once the drug is released. This offers an alternative for risk-averse investors who seek to invest in the Pharma related industries. Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG), which is one of the world’s largest drug stores, is down more than 13% from its 52-week high of $51.25 reached on May 28.

Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)

Much of this decline came in the last two weeks, with the company’s recent miss on earnings estimates worsening the situation. Some investors have already panicked as the company moved more than 10 million shares on a daily basis over the last week. The question is, should you be offloading Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) ? Well, probably not.

Recent decline and inked deals mean buy now

Before Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)’s recent plunge, the company was trading just under the nose of its 52-week high. Many would have hoped for it to continue rallying, but unfortunately that did not turn out to be the case.

For those who were seeking for a perfect opportunity to invest in this drug store, now is the time. With the company trading at 13% below its 52-week high, there is not a better opportunity to get yourself in the act. Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)’s fundamentals are up there among the industry’s best, and its outlook is extremely promising.

Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) collaborated with Alliance Boots GmbH in tying up a deal with AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC), expected to take effect beginning Sept. 1, 2013. The strategic partnership with Alliance Boots GmbH ensured that no major legal hurdles would come to play in the deal. This enabled Walgreen to execute the 10-year deal cost-effectively.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC) is a pharmaceutical services company involved in the distribution of drugs and related healthcare services. This is expected to give Walgreen a wider market reach as it seeks to counter competition from industry rivals such as CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD).

Walgreen and Alliance Boots GmbH could end up owning as much as 25% stake in AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC) by 2017, while buying 7% of that publicly from the market any time after September 1. AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC) will benefit from its access to generic drugs and related pharmaceutical products through the Walgreen Boots Alliance Development joint venture.

This will give the Chesterbrook, PA-based drug merchant the opportunity to fast-track efforts in growing its specialty and manufacturer services businesses domestically and internationally. The decade-long deal also gives Walgreen the opportunity to capitalize on its wider market reach and, in terms of return on investment, the success of AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE:ABC).

There were plenty of positives in Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG)’s most recent quarter results

Walgreen missed analyst estimates on profit, thereby making headlines for all of the wrong reasons. There was many good takes from the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report, however. The fact that earnings grew by 16% year-over-year while sales increased by 3.2% is worth noting.

The 3.2% growth in revenues may seem too small, but it was better than Walgreen’s rivals. Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD)’s revenue fell by 2.7% year-over-year, while CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS)’s was down 0.1%. Comparable-store prescription sales were up 2%, while overall prescriptions increased by 8.7% from the same quarter last year. Prescriptions accounted for 63.1% of Walgreen’s revenues. The company’s gross profit was up 4.1% from last year, while cash increased by 50.1%, to nearly $3 billion.

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