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Walgreens Boots Alliance

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Walgreens Boots reported a mixed fourth-quarter fiscal 2015 with earnings comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while the top line missed the mark. Meanwhile, generic inflation in the pharmaceutical industry continued to have an adverse effect on Walgreens Boots' store pharmacy sales, as reflected in the 250 basis point contraction in the company's gross margin during the reported quarter. On a brighter note, the company made substantial progress in its strategic cost reduction initiative as is evident from the accelerated rate of store closures during the quarter.  Moreover, the synergies from the Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots merger continue to boost our confidence in the stock, which is well on track to reach at least $1 billion in synergies in fiscal 2016.

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