Pharmacy chain operator firm Walgreens Boots Alliance has upgraded its outlook for the fiscal year 2022 following better-than-expected first-quarter results, the company announced in a filing.

  • Operating income jumped to $1.3 billion from the $525-million net loss in the previous year, bringing the earnings per share to $4.13 from the loss of $0.45 the same quarter last year.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and testing drove sales better than expected, with US retail sales up 10.6% and Boots UK retail comparable sales 16.3% higher. Cost management efforts could drive $3.3 billion in annual cost savings by 2024.
  • Walgreens Boots upgraded its earnings per share guidance to low-single-digit growth from flat, with the outlook including a 4-percentage point negative impact from earlier planned healthcare investments.

Walgreens administered over 56 million vaccines to date, including 15.6 million recorded in the first quarter. WBA is up 2.37% premarket.