Walgreen Company First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Walgreen operates a chain of retail drug stores.

Walgreen Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 67 cents per share, a rise of 8.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 72 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 67 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $2.82 per share, a rise of 6.8% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to beat analyst estimates for the third quarter in a row. Last quarter, it beat estimates with profit of 57 cents per share against the mean estimate of 55 cents. In the prior quarter, the company reported net income of 65 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $18.21 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Walgreen Company as 11 analysts rate it as a buy, two rate it as a sell and 10 rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 68.5% to $792 million (87 cents a share) from $470 million (48 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 6.5% to $17.97 billion from $16.87 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 30.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 10.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 6.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 8.9% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 6% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: drugstore.com, inc. (NASDAQ:DSCM), Graymark Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ:GRMH), CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS), China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd. (NYSE:NPD), GNC Acquisition Hldgs. Inc (NYSE:GNC), PharMerica Corporation (NYSE:PMC), BioScrip Inc. (NASDAQ:BIOS), and Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MHS).

Stock Price Performance: During November 16, 2011 to December 15, 2011, the stock price had risen $1.89 (5.9%) from $32.22 to $34.11. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 11, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 4.1% (+$1.31) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 27, 2011 and June 7, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 1.8% (-77 cents) over that span. Shares are down $4.04 (-10.6%) year to date.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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