Business

Mass. Movers

Walgreen profit rises, but the stock slips

Walgreen recently opened a 24-hour “flagship’’ store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File 2013
Walgreen recently opened a 24-hour “flagship’’ store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing.

Walgreen Co.’s quarterly earnings rose 16 percent to $624 million, but the stock fell as investors fretted over sales up just 3 percent. The company missed forecasts, and earnings grew largely because in the year-earlier quarter a business split had hurt results. Analysts were surprised by a weak gain in gross margin, a measure of profitability, possibly because a boost from sales of generic drugs is waning. Still, the stock had already advanced 30 percent this year before Tuesday.

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