Was Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc’s (NASDAQ:WBA) Earnings Growth Better Than The Industry’s?

Assessing Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc’s (NASDAQ:WBA) past track record of performance is an insightful exercise for investors. It allows us to reflect on whether or not the company has met or exceed expectations, which is a great indicator for future performance. Today I will assess WBA’s recent performance announced on 31 August 2018 and evaluate these figures to its long-term trend and industry movements.

View our latest analysis for Walgreens Boots Alliance

Were WBA’s earnings stronger than its past performances and the industry?

WBA’s trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 August 2018) of US$5.0b has jumped 23% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has exceeded its 5-year annual growth average of 12%, indicating the rate at which WBA is growing has accelerated. How has it been able to do this? Let’s take a look at whether it is solely owing to an industry uplift, or if Walgreens Boots Alliance has experienced some company-specific growth.

NasdaqGS:WBA Income Statement Export November 9th 18
NasdaqGS:WBA Income Statement Export November 9th 18

In terms of returns from investment, Walgreens Boots Alliance has fallen short of achieving a 20% return on equity (ROE), recording 19% instead. However, its return on assets (ROA) of 8.2% exceeds the US Consumer Retailing industry of 7.8%, indicating Walgreens Boots Alliance has used its assets more efficiently. And finally, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s debt level, has increased over the past 3 years from 9.9% to 13%.

What does this mean?

While past data is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story. While Walgreens Boots Alliance has a good historical track record with positive growth and profitability, there’s no certainty that this will extrapolate into the future. I suggest you continue to research Walgreens Boots Alliance to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WBA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WBA’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are WBA’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 August 2018. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.