Walgreens; Financial Statement Analysts

Topics: Walgreens, Financial ratio, P/E ratio Pages: 7 (2232 words) Published: September 21, 2008
Executive Summary
Walgreens offers an old-fashioned tonic for fiscal fitness: quality over quantity and homespun growth rather than growth through acquisitions. It works. While Walgreen has fewer stores than its closest rival CVS, it is #1 in the nation in sales. (Hoover's Inc, 2007)

Walgreens operates about 6,000 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico, and has three mail order facilities. Prescription drugs account for 65% of sales; the rest comes from general merchandise, over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and groceries. Walgreen usually builds rather than buys stores, so it can pick prime locations. For added convenience, more than two-thirds of its stores offer drive-through pharmacies, and almost all offer one-hour photo processing. (Hoover's Inc, 2007)

Within the last 3 years Walgreen is growing by leaps and bounds. Some of the here are a few highlights and contributing factors to Walgreens growing success.

In 2005 Walgreens opened its 5,000th store in Richmond, Va. In 2006 Walgreens announced a new CEO (Jeffrey A. Rein). Walgreen also acquired Happy Harry’s drugstore chain, which added 76 stores to the growing number of locations. In 2006, Walgreens began offering in-store health clinics (Health Corner Clinics), with nurse practitioners treating walk-in patients for common ailments. Later that year, clinics opened in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and Atlanta." In 2007 Walgreens acquired Take Care Health Systems and with the acquisition, it expects to have more than 400 clinics by the end of 2008. (Walgreen.com, 2007)

Walgreens solid strategies towards conscious consumers values has successful expand and lead to growing their service and product portfolio to meet the needs of their current and future customers. In order to continue to grow and meet the needs; Walgreen is focusing on Organic store growth, and taking in consider acquisitions; increasing market share through innovation and execution; Leveraging the companies economic size; Reacting quickly to customers' changing needs; Offerings beyond traditional pharmacy, Health Services'; and Retaining and attracting top talent. (Walgreen.com, 2007)

This analyst of Walgreens is focused the accounting aspects of balance sheets and ratios compare to one of Walgreens biggest competitors, CVS.

Company Background
In 1901 Chicago pharmacist Charles Walgreen borrowed $2,000 from his father for a down payment on his first drugstore. He sold a half interest in his first store in 1909 and bought a second, where he installed a large soda fountain and began serving lunch. In 1916 seven stores consolidated under the corporate name Walgreen Co. By 1920 there were 20 stores in Chicago, with sales of $1.55 million. The firm was first listed on the NYSE in 1927; two years later its 397 stores in 87 cities had sales of $47 million. (Walgreen.com, 2007)

The company did comparatively well during the Great Depression. Although average sales per store dropped between 1931 and 1935, per-store earnings went up, thanks to a chain wide emphasis on efficiency. By 1940 Walgreen had 489 stores, but the chain shrank during WWII when unprofitable stores were closed. (Walgreen.com, 2007) The 1950s saw a major change in the way drugstores did business. Walgreen was an early leader in self-service merchandising, opening its first self-serve store in 1952; it had 22 by the end of 1953. Between 1950 and in the1960, as small, older stores were replaced with larger, more efficient, self-service units, the total number of stores in the chain increased only about 10%, but sales grew by more than 90%. (Walgreen.com, 2007)

The 1970s and 1980s brought rapid growth and modernization to the chain. The company opened its 1,000th store in 1984. Two years later Walgreen acquired 66 Medi Mart drugstores in five northeastern states.(Walgreen.com, 2007)

Iin the 1990, Walgreen began its Healthcare Plus subsidiary to provide prescriptions by mail. (By 1997 the by-mail...
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