Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) in a research note issued to investors on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $94.00 price objective on the pharmacy operator’s stock.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Pivotal Research set a $85.00 target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Sunday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut 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. BidaskClub upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC dropped their target price on 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 equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $91.81.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) traded up 0.60% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $82.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 22,167,526 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $81.26 and its 200-day moving average price is $81.99. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $75.18 and a 12-month high of $89.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $88.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.83 and a beta of 1.26.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $30.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.72 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.18 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post $5.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th were given a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.94%. This is a positive change from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 16th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is presently 40.30%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the pharmacy operator to repurchase up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was 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 filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 13.50% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WBA. IBM Retirement Fund increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 88.1% during the 2nd quarter. IBM Retirement Fund now owns 22,903 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $2,004,000 after buying an additional 10,729 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 72.9% during the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 482,962 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $40,115,000 after buying an additional 203,635 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.9% during the 1st 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 in the last quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust now owns 6,661 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 9.3% during the 1st quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 75,821 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $6,296,000 after buying an additional 6,462 shares in the last quarter. 60.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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