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A horrendous second quarter for Walgreens

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Today’s article gives an overview of the Maltese, European and U.S. markets on Tuesday, together with news about the most difficult quarter for Walgreens

The Maltese market closed in the red on Tuesday, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index ending the session 0.034% lower, to 9,409.950 points. Best performer was Tigne Mall plc, it jumped 4.35% to close at 0.96. Followed by PG plc which added 2.14% to 1.43. BMIT Technologies plc with a 0.95% change, closed list of gainers. Go plc showed the biggest fall as it slid 1.64% to close at 4.80. Bank of Valetta plc, Mapfre Middlesea plc and Malta International Airport plc were active but closed unchanged.

European shares hit their highest in half a year on Tuesday, buoyed by autos and insurance stocks and gains among export-heavy London stocks as Brexit uncertainty weakened the pound. The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.35% to close at 385.03, while France’s CAC 40 Index jumped 0.25% to close at 5,423.47. Germany’s DAX added 0.44% to 11,754.79 and London’s FTSE 100 Index increased 1% to 7,391.12.

U.S. stocks ended the day mixed, The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.13%, to end at 26,179.13 and the S&P 500 index closed unchanged at 2,867.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed with a gain of 0.3%, at 7,848.69.

Walgreens: The ship isn’t sinking – yet

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. closed at its lowest price since 2013 after the company, the U.S.’s biggest standalone drugstore chain, fell victim to many of the pressures rippling through the health-care and retail industries.

In the back of the store at the pharmacy counter, where more than two-thirds of U.S. store sales come from, Walgreens is filling more prescriptions but making less money on them. Up front, same-store retail sales were down 3.8 percent, as the company sold fewer cough and cold products and brought in less from tobacco.

Chief Executive Officer Stefano Pessina called it “the most difficult quarter we have had since the formation of Walgreens Boots Alliance.” The shares fell 13 percent to $55.36 in New York, the biggest one-day drop since Aug. 6, 2014, the day Walgreens announced it was joining with European drugstore chain Alliance Boots GmbH to form the current company.

The company is making several moves as its business deteriorates. It lowered its fiscal 2019 forecast, after reporting second-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street analysts’ estimates. Earnings this year will be flat, the company said, after previously predicting growth of 7 percent to 12 percent.

This article was issued by Nadiia Grech, junior trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.