Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) by 6.7% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 330,800 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after buying an additional 20,700 shares during the period. Walgreens Boots Alliance accounts for 1.4% of Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd.’s portfolio, making the stock its 17th largest position. Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $20,930,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC bought a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,000. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. bought a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Murphy Pohlad Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the fourth quarter worth approximately $29,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth approximately $31,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the fourth quarter worth approximately $34,000. 64.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, COO Ornella Barra bought 18,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.56 per share, for a total transaction of $982,080.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 26,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,441,748. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Marco Patrick Anthony Pagni sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.05, for a total value of $1,061,000.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 435,811 shares in the company, valued at $23,119,773.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 15.73% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 2nd. The pharmacy operator reported $1.64 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.70 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $34.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.57 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 22.00% and a net margin of 3.77%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.73 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc will post 5.99 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.44 per share. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.24%.
A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. BidaskClub lowered Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. UBS Group lowered their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $70.00 to $65.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a report on Monday, March 4th. Morgan Stanley set a $61.00 target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 14th. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $66.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Sunday, March 31st. Finally, Barclays lowered their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $78.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.00.
About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc operates as a pharmacy-led health and wellbeing company. It operates through three segments: Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International, and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. The Retail Pharmacy USA segment sells prescription drugs and an assortment of retail products, including health, beauty, personal care, consumable, and general merchandise products through its retail drugstores and convenient care clinics.
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