(Adds details on unit sales, compares with estimates, adds share movement)
Jan 8 (Reuters) - Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc posted a quarterly profit that missed expectations on Wednesday, hurt by lower payments from insurers on drugs sold, sending shares down nearly 4% before the bell.
Sluggish retail growth, disappointing performance of Boots U.K. unit and low reimbursement rates for drugs have pushed Walgreens' shares down 15.3% in the last year, making it the worst performer on Dow Jones Industrials Average index.
Sales in the company's U.S. retail pharmacies missed estimates, despite the company selling more prescription drugs, as continued low reimbursement rates ate into the unit's profit.
The unit's sales rose 1.6% to $26.1 billion, missing estimates of $26.18 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Gross profit from the unit fell 5.2%.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.37 per share, missing estimates of $1.41.
Net income attributable to Walgreens fell to $845 million, or 95 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, from $1.12 billion, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $34.34 billion from $33.79 billion. (Reporting by Trisha Roy and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)