Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $90.00 price objective on the pharmacy operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.63% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “The proposed buyout of Rite Aid by Walgreens, which is still expected to close in the latter half of 2016, should expand the company’s business realm in the U.S. over the long term. Several recent strategic programs including skin product launch and vaccination program are also expected to boost the company’s growth in near future. Walgreens continues to hold a strong cash position, which is evident from its increased cash flow reserve in the last-reported third quarter. The company was successful in achieving its earlier target of combined net synergies of at least $1 billion in Jun 2016 on account of the legacy Walgreens’ merger with Alliance Boot. On the flip side, the company’s gross margin continued to deliver a bleak performance. The U.S. FTC’s recent update regarding the Walgreens store divestment, needed for the Rite Aid acquisition is another downside for the company’s business.”
A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on WBA. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $94.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Saturday, September 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.51 target price (down from $95.00) on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Walgreens Boots Alliance presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $93.07.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 80.62 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $81.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $81.27. The firm has a market cap of $87.26 billion, a PE ratio of 27.86 and a beta of 1.01. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a one year low of $71.50 and a one year high of $95.74.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 6th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.04. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 15.56% and a net margin of 2.70%. The business earned $29.50 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.02 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post $4.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.375 per share. This is an increase from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.86%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.90%.
In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,067 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.35, for a total transaction of $168,150.45. Following the sale, the director now owns 26,690 shares in the company, valued at $2,171,231.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Kathleen Wilson-Thompson sold 29,695 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.00, for a total value of $2,464,685.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 21.10% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Samlyn Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the first quarter worth $75,200,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 21.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 648,000 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $54,588,000 after buying an additional 114,800 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.5% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 304,710 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $25,373,000 after buying an additional 7,325 shares during the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 9.2% in the first quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 598,159 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $49,863,000 after buying an additional 50,306 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 446.4% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 366,961 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $30,557,000 after buying an additional 299,800 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.74% of the company’s stock.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Company Profile
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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