Smead Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 23.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 901,985 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after buying an additional 168,475 shares during the period. Walgreens Boots Alliance accounts for 3.8% of Smead Capital Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 13th largest position. Smead Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $74,910,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 41.4% in the first quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 3,531 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $293,000 after buying an additional 1,034 shares during the period. Northstar Group Inc. boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 24.2% in the first quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 15,664 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,190,000 after buying an additional 3,053 shares during the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the first quarter worth approximately $234,000. Creative Planning boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.7% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 121,793 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $10,115,000 after buying an additional 3,214 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the first quarter worth approximately $270,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.17% of the company’s stock.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 81.51 on Tuesday. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 52-week low of $75.18 and a 52-week high of $88.00. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $78.82 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.40. The company has a market cap of $87.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.58 and a beta of 1.25.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 firm had revenue of $30.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.18 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the pharmacy operator to buy up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This is a positive change from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.78%.
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WBA has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC lowered their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.69.
In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,528,058.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate 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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