Thanks for the correction. I was out of the country when WAG announced the dividend increase.
Garf, it has been WAG's corporate philosophy for decades not buy the problems of another company. By purchasing another drug company, WAG loses control of store location which is a very significant consideration. The saying "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." also may come into play. Given WAG's success over the years, why should they deviate from what has been working so well.
The reason I have read most often is that they don't want to buy someone elses' problems. They prefer to grow by constructing state of the art stand alone stores which they have done with zero debt. They average age of their stores is 4 years old compared with an industry average of something like 8 years. Rite Aid on the other hand has purchased other stores in strip mauls and has sought growth thru that method. Frankly I am amazed at Wag's ability to open a new store almost every working day in America without borrowing a dime. I can't think of another company that I would rather invest in. When the market moves down WAG barely moves.