Ameriprise Financial Inc. lowered its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 1.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,472,595 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 32,791 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. owned approximately 0.23% of Walgreens Boots Alliance worth $205,313,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in WBA. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the fourth quarter worth about $649,813,000. Viking Global Investors LP increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 562.8% in the fourth quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 7,899,951 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $653,800,000 after buying an additional 6,708,040 shares during the period. Glenview Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the fourth quarter worth about $124,140,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.9% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 4,912,489 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $407,982,000 after buying an additional 914,888 shares during the period. Finally, Putnam Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 24.5% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 4,090,605 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $338,539,000 after buying an additional 804,863 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.17% of the company’s stock.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) traded down 0.53% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $81.08. The company had a trading volume of 4,036,340 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $78.70 and its 200 day moving average is $82.37. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 52-week low of $75.18 and a 52-week high of $89.69. The company has a market cap of $86.76 billion, a PE ratio of 20.47 and a beta of 1.25.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.03. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 17.34% and a net margin of 3.69%. The company had revenue of $30.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.18 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This is an increase from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.97%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.78%.
Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the pharmacy operator to repurchase up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Leerink Swann set a $90.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Zacks Investment Research cut Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. BidaskClub upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reduced their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Finally, Needham & Company LLC set a $94.00 price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.69.
In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total transaction of $218,305.44. Following the sale, the director now owns 19,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,528,058.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 13.50% of the company’s stock.
About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc (Walgreens Boots Alliance) is a holding company. The Company is a global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Walgreens Boots Alliance operates through three divisions, including Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. The Company’s products are marketed under a number of brands, which include No7, the Botanics range, Almus (generic medicines), Boots Pharmaceuticals and Soap & Glory (bathing and beauty brand).
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