Inside these posts: Greg Wasson

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Walgreens to buy for $400M

Customers at a Walgreens in Vernon Hills, Ill. (Lane Christiansen/Chicago Tribune)

Expanding further into the fast-growing business of online retail, Walgreen Co. said Thursday it will buy for more than $400 million.

The deal comes just weeks after the Deerfield-based drugstore giant said it would shed its pharmacy benefit management business for more than $500 million. That deal, Walgreens said, would help it better focus on its primary business of serving customers’ daily health and living needs. Get the full story »

Prescriptions help boost Walgreen profit 10%

The pharmacy of a Walgreen's store in New York. (JB Reed/Bloomberg)

Buoyed by an increase in the number of prescriptions it fills, Walgreen Co. this morning reported a 10 percent increase in its second-quarter profits.

The Deerfield-based drug store giant said earnings grew to $739 million, or 80 cents a share, compared to $669 million, or 68 cents a share, in the quarter ended Feb. 28. Revenues rose 8.9 percent to $18.5 billion.

Still, the price of Walgreen Co. shares fell $2.76, or 6.6 percent, to $39.21 a share on Tuesday because some analysts were unhappy with the company’s profit margins and higher expenses in the quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses jumped 8 percent in the quarter to $4.1 billion. Get the full story »

Walgreen to sell pharmacy benefits business

A Walgreens on Michigan Avenue. (Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune)

Walgreen Co. said Wednesday it will sell its pharmacy benefit management business, which increasingly has conflicted with the drugstore giant’s push to get consumers to fill their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter.

The Deerfield-based company will sell Walgreens Health Initiatives for $525 million in cash to Catalyst Health Solutions Inc. of Rockville, Md. The deal is expected to close in June. Get the full story »

Walgreens expanding preventive medical services

Walgreens said it will allocate $100 million over the next four years to providing medical tests and preventive medical services as the Deerfield-based pharmacy giant continues to establish itself as a national provider of health care. Get the full story »

Walgreens to expand fresh food offerings at stores

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tours a Walgreens store at 1533 67th Place in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

Walgreen Co. plans to expand its fresh food offerings in several hundred stores in coming years, company chief executive officer Greg Wasson told shareholders this afternoon.

Addressing 2,500 shareholders at the company’s annual meeting at Navy Pier on Chicago’s lakefront, Wasson said such stores fit the company’s strategy to evolve from a “retail drugstore to a retail ‘health and daily living store.’”

Walgreen Co., which offers more and more health and wellness needs, began to test out fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables last year, particularly in poor urban markets where access to healthy food choices is a problem. Get the full story »

Walgreens raises its quarterly dividend

Walgreen Co. on Wednesday raised its quarterly dividend 27 percent to 17.5 cents a share, topping its compound annual dividend growth rate of 24 percent in the past six years. Last year, the drugstore chain raised its dividend 22 percent and set a long-term dividend payout target of 30 percent to 35 percent of net earnings. Get the full story »