Face-Off on Stocks: Walgreen, CVS, Rite Aid [Video]
Not everyone is happy about the mild start to the cold-and-flu season. The nation's drugstore chains, already under pricing pressure from Walmart (WMT) and each other, would be happier if the rest of us had coughs and sniffles.
As it is, the country's three biggest drugstore chains have had to bear down on controlling costs and reining in margin-busting discounts because revenue growth has been so hard to come by. (And when it does, it tends toward gains of the single-digit-percentage variety.)
Perhaps that's why shares in Walgreen (WAG), CVS Caremark (CVS) and Rite Aid (RAD) have been so disappointing in 2010. Whether that makes them cheap plays for 2011 -- or set to greatly underperform the broader market yet again -- is, of course, a matter of debate. For the bull and bear cases on Walgreen, CVS and Rite Aid, see Face-Off on Stocks above.