Walgreens Boots Alliance on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts' expectations, and it lowered its forecast for 2019 in what CEO Stefano Pessina called the "most difficult" quarter since acquiring European drugstore chain Alliance Boots in late 2014.
The company now expects full-year earnings for 2019 to be roughly flat, compared with its previous forecast of 7 to 12 percent growth. It also said it will cut more than $1.5 billion in costs by fiscal 2022, up from the $1 billion it announced last quarter.
"A number of the trends we had been expecting and preparing for impacted us significantly more quickly than we had anticipated," Pessina told analysts on a call to discuss Walgreens' performance during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, which ended Feb. 28.
Walgreens' shares slid by more than 12 percent, on pace for their worst day since Aug. 6, 2014, when they lost 14.3 percent. The company dragged down its competitors, sending CVS shares tumbling 3.4 percent and Rite Aid's stock down by 7.4 percent, though it trades for less than $1 a share.
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