HM Payson & Co. lowered its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 2.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 37,882 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 1,114 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $3,146,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 26.5% in the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 9,154,328 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $760,267,000 after buying an additional 1,917,082 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 32,846,862 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $2,727,932,000 after buying an additional 1,824,300 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.4% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 5,269,500 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $437,632,000 after buying an additional 962,959 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised 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 valued at $407,982,000 after buying an additional 914,888 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 53.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 2,211,112 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $183,632,000 after buying an additional 766,200 shares during the last quarter. 61.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ WBA) traded up 0.12% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $81.63. 1,159,064 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $79.23 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.31. The company has a market capitalization of $87.35 billion, a PE ratio of 20.61 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 52-week low of $75.18 and a 52-week high of $88.00.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.03. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.69% and a return on equity of 17.34%. The company had revenue of $30.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.18 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This is a positive change from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.96%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is 37.78%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the pharmacy operator to purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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WBA has been the subject of several research reports. Needham & Company LLC upgraded shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, June 30th. Pivotal Research set a $85.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $77.00 target price (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC dropped their target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.69.

In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total value of $218,305.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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