Rafferty Asset Management LLC decreased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 70.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 13,384 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 32,175 shares during the period. Rafferty Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $1,112,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted 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 worth $760,267,000 after buying an additional 1,917,082 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted 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 last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 27.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 3,262,703 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $270,967,000 after buying an additional 700,400 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 17.1% in the first quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,588,887 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $215,681,000 after buying an additional 378,686 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. boosted 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 worth $183,632,000 after buying an additional 766,200 shares during the last quarter. 61.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) traded up 0.78% on Friday, reaching $81.13. The company had a trading volume of 5,216,763 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $86.82 billion, a PE ratio of 20.49 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 52-week low of $75.18 and a 52-week high of $89.69. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $79.95 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.28. Walgreens Boots Alliance also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors bought 21,284 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 753% compared to the average volume of 2,495 call options.

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, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 business had revenue of $30.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.18 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.00 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. 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 yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is presently 40.30%.

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WBA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. BidaskClub raised Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Loop Capital started coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price for the company. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.06.

In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total value of $218,305.44. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,528,058.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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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