NEW YORK — "Mad Money"'s Jim Cramer on Tuesday evening interviewed Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson on what's behind the drug store retailer's skyrocketing shareholder value.
"I was skeptical," Cramer said. "I didn't realize that [Walgreens was] trying to become more than just a drug store company, and instead of just the $300 billion drug store market, [the company is] in the couple trillion dollar healthcare market because of the changes [Walgreens has] made," he said. "You're changing the face of the way health care is given in this country."
"Health care is becoming much more coordinated among stakeholders," Wasson said. Walgreens has far surpassed a typical neighborhood drug store offering, Wasson explained. Pharmacists are providing more services like immunizations. Walgreens is co-locating nurse practitioners in stores to provide more acute and chronic care solutions. And Walgreens is partnering with health systems across the country to help mitigate healthcare costs and hospital readmissions.
Walgreens also is building the world's largest generic drug procurement system through its strategic initiatives with Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen, Wasson added.
And yet, Walgreens is still delivering to its core drug store consumer with a revamped drug store offering. The chain has emphasized value through its private label program, with some 2,000 new SKUs having been introduced in the past year. And with its more than 8,200 store base, 63% of the American population lives within five miles of a Walgreens location.
"Well, you created tremendous value," Cramer concluded. "You have a stock that's doing much better than the S&P ," he said. "There are companies that amaze me. There are companies with a big vision, bigger than I ever thought about, and Walgreens is one of them."