Traders Buy Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) on Weakness
Investors purchased shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $96.50 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $75.78 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $20.72 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Walgreens Boots Alliance had the 24th highest net in-flow for the day. Walgreens Boots Alliance traded down ($0.17) for the day and closed at $68.29
WBA has been the topic of a number of research reports. Pivotal Research cut their price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $85.00 to $73.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $78.00 price target on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Saturday, January 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $93.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Walgreens Boots Alliance currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.05.
The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $67,652.78, a PE ratio of 12.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.18.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.34%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is 44.20%.
Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the pharmacy operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, insider Stefano Pessina bought 98,858 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $76.07 per share, for a total transaction of $7,520,128.06. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 14.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 69,985,653 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $5,480,577,000 after purchasing an additional 1,926,108 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 24.7% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 18,502,701 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $1,448,939,000 after purchasing an additional 3,662,302 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 1.0% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 10,182,388 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $786,284,000 after purchasing an additional 96,552 shares during the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 7,547,745 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $548,117,000 after purchasing an additional 748,442 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 32.0% in the fourth quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 7,373,589 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $535,470,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785,449 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.57% of the company’s stock.
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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).
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