Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 21,631,489 shares, an increase of 9.0% from the September 15th total of 19,846,113 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,371,016 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.4 days. Approximately 2.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the 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 can be accessed through the SEC website. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hudock Capital Group LLC lifted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,306 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the period. Modera Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% during the first quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,451 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $204,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% during the first quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 3,027 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $243,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares during the period. Sowell Financial Services LLC lifted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.6% during the first quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 2,703 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $218,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares during the period. Finally, WealthTrust Arizona LLC lifted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% during the second quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 5,264 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $412,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. 60.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 67.31 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $72.03 billion, a PE ratio of 17.00 and a beta of 1.25. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $78.27 and its 200-day moving average price is $80.61. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $67.21 and a 12-month high of $89.69.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the pharmacy operator to repurchase up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several research firms recently commented on WBA. SunTrust Banks, Inc. set a $72.00 price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $94.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $95.00 to $85.00 in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.18.

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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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