Longs Falls Short on Profits

Feb 27, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Longs Drug Stores’ profits fell $6.4 million for the latest quarter versus the year ago period.

The company said higher operational costs, asset charges and a still weak economy all played a role in the results.

Warren Bryant, president and chief executive officer, Longs Drug Stores said in a released statement, “We’re clearly not satisfied with our fourth quarter performance.” He added, “We are taking aggressive actions to address the issues that negatively impacted our results. Today we are announcing a reduction in workforce of approximately 170 people, primarily in our California offices. We have specific, measurable action plans in place to improve performance at a number of under-performing stores, and we will close those that fail to improve. We will be abandoning a pharmacy technology information system that is too difficult to use and too inefficient to continue, and we will make other changes to improve our performance.”

A Reuters report claims, “Analysts have slammed Longs for being slow to modernize its business to tackle competition from mass merchants including Wal-Mart.”

Moderator’s Comment: Two Questions–

  1. What is your assessment of Longs?

  2. What is your assessment of the state of the drug
    store industry?

For all the criticism of Longs (even from its own execs)
it is important to remember that the company made a profit. Many others can
not make the same claim. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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