Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “The proposed buyout of Rite Aid by Walgreens, which is still expected to close in the latter half of 2016, should expand the company’s business realm in the U.S. over the long term. Several recent strategic programs including skin product launch and vaccination program are also expected to boost the company’s growth in near future. Walgreens continues to hold a strong cash position, which is evident from its increased cash flow reserve in the last-reported third quarter. The company was successful in achieving its earlier target of combined net synergies of at least $1 billion in Jun 2016 on account of the legacy Walgreens’ merger with Alliance Boot. On the flip side, the company’s gross margin continued to deliver a bleak performance. The U.S. FTC’s recent update regarding the Walgreens store divestment, needed for the Rite Aid acquisition is another downside for the company’s business.”
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on WBA. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Friday, June 10th. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, June 13th. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $98.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Evercore ISI reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $93.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, FBR & Co decreased their target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $90.00 to $85.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $93.07.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 79.88 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $81.31 and its 200 day moving average is $81.18. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 52-week low of $71.50 and a 52-week high of $95.74. The company has a market cap of $86.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.60 and a beta of 1.01.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This is a boost from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 51.90%.
In other news, EVP Kathleen Wilson-Thompson sold 29,695 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.00, for a total transaction of $2,464,685.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director William C. Foote sold 2,067 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.35, for a total transaction of $168,150.45. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 26,690 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,171,231.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 21.10% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. CapWealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 30.0% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,300 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Kings Point Capital Management boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 12.8% in the first quarter. Kings Point Capital Management now owns 1,323 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Jolley Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 104.5% in the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 1,370 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the period. MCF Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,371 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Finally, Westbourne Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance during the second quarter valued at $121,000. 59.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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).
For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Receive News & Ratings for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.