Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 09/28/2012

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the Walgreen Co. Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to your host, Walgreen's Vice President of Investor Relations, Rick Hans. You may begin.

Rick J. Hans - Divisional VP of IR and Finance: Thank you, Allie. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us. Today Greg Wasson, President and CEO, and Wade Miquelon, Executive Vice President and CFO and President International will update you on the fourth quarter and the fiscal year. Also joining us on the call and available for questions is Kermit Crawford, President of Pharmacy and Mark Wagner, President of Store Operations. As a reminder today's presentation includes certain non-GAAP financial measures and I would direct you to our website at for reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures and related information. You can find a link to our webcast on our investor relations website. After the call the presentation and the podcast will be archived on our website for 12 months.

Certain statements and projections of future results made in this presentation constitute forward-looking information that is based on current market, competitive and regulatory expectations that involve risk and uncertainty except to the extent required by law we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after this presentation, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise. Please see our latest Form 10-K filing and subsequent Exchange Act filings for discussion of risk factors as they relate to forward-looking statements.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Greg.

Gregory D. Wasson - President and CEO: Thank you, Rick, and good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us on our call. Today, I'll begin with some perspective on the year and a review of our results for the quarter in the fiscal year. Second, I'll discuss the overall strength and performance of our business and finally I'll take a strategic look ahead to fiscal 2013.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Wade for a more detailed review of our quarter and full year performance and key considerations for fiscal 2013.

Wade D. Miquelon - CFO: I want to begin today by putting fiscal 2012 into perspective. This was certainly a challenging year capped off by a tough fourth quarter, but a very important and strategic year for Walgreens. As you know, we started the year with a critical decision to exit the Express Scripts' network. This decision despite the short-term ramifications to our business was absolutely the right one for our shareholders long-term.

That said, as you are aware, we were ultimately able to reach an agreement with Express Scripts last July that met our core principals, with this now behind us, we're focused on the many opportunities ahead. Starting with our truly game changing relationship with Alliance Boots, to create the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. As we have said before, this relationship will accelerate our five-core strategies. It creates an unmatched supply-chain. Together, we will have the largest retail pharmacy distribution network in the world and be the world's single largest purchaser of prescription drugs in many other health and wellbeing products. Finally, it provides us with a platform for global expansion beyond the U.S. and Europe in the new markets around the world.

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