Investors will be looking for details on non-medicinal drugstore sales and the performance of collaborations with other companies when Walgreen Co. reports on its fiscal first-quarter performance Friday. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The nation's largest drugstore chain has made a priority of the improvement of sales in the front end of its stores, or the area outside its pharmacies. Investors will want to see whether it has turned around the soft results that the company reported earlier this year. Walgreen said earlier this month when it reported November sales that increased promotions helped attract more customers and improve sales. The Deerfield, Ill. , company also said in October that it reaped greater savings and revenue than it expected from last year's acquisition of a stake in European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots. Some investors like the potential for future growth that comes from that deal and a new supply agreement Walgreen started in September with pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen Corp. Walgreen said earlier this month that it booked $18.35 billion in revenue during the fiscal first quarter, which ended Nov. 30 . The company's stock price has climbed more than 50 percent so far this year was trading at $56.44 at midday Wednesday. The shares have set new all-time high prices several times in 2013, according to FactSet. WHY IT MATTERS: Walgreen runs nearly 8,200 drugstores. Its Alliance Boots stake has given the company growing international clout as well. WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts forecast, on average, earnings of 72 cents per share, according to FactSet. LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Walgreen's fiscal first quarter earnings tumbled 26 percent. That was due in part to costs from the Alliance Boots deal and Superstorm Sandy, which forced the chain to close hundreds of stores temporarily. Walgreen earned $413 million , or 43 cents per share, as revenue fell about 5 percent to $17.32 billion .
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