Walgreen fiscal 4th-qtr profit jumps 69 percent

By the Associated Press | September 27, 2011 | 7:50 AM EDT

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. says its fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped 69 percent, boosted in part by a gain from the sale of its pharmacy benefits management business.

The Deerfield, Ill., company says it earned $792 million, or 87 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Aug. 31. A year ago, it earned $470 million, or 49 cents per share. Revenue for this year's quarter climbed more than 6 percent to nearly $18 billion. Adjusted earnings were 57 cents per share, excluding the business sale gain and other one-time items.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings per share of 55 cents for the quarter.

Walgreen is the largest drugstore chain in the United States with more than 7,700 stores.