I'm counting on continued improvements in sg&a. Based on my limited view, some rough calculations and a little guesswork, I'm estimating an additional 5 cents/share savings. I'm not privy to actual numbers or any advertising and project cutbacks, so my estimation could be way off in either direction. I think senior management suffered a black eye and shameful embarrassment after 4Q results severely tarnished Walgreens 30 year luster of "consistent and reliable" earnings growth. And I believe they are DEAD SERIOUS about getting back on track. Expense control is the central focus every day at every store. Controls have continued and expanded and seems to not have affected service levels as complaints have actually decreased over the last several months. With great Valentines sales, an extra day in feb, additional expense controls and a late flu season, I'm hoping for blowout numbers. Short term, I'm very optimistic. But with the teetering economy, who knows what will happen!
Long term, nothing has changed. We'll reach our 7000 store goal early, then onto 13,000. Along the way, as ump suggested, I'd like to see some international forays and at least a couple strong established beachfronts. In addition to dominating the retail pie, we'll continue our growth in other markets through our aquisitions of familymed (specialty, worksite pharmacy), shrafts (fertility), option care (specialty, home infusion)and finally pursue the huge long term care/assisted living market through partnering with senior med.