Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has a $90.00 price objective on the pharmacy operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 12.16% from the company’s current price.
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 research analysts also recently commented on the company. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $93.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Friday, July 22nd. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $95.00 target price (up previously from $80.71) on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Finally, Leerink Swann reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $93.07.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 80.24 on Monday. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 1-year low of $71.50 and a 1-year high of $95.74. The company’s 50-day moving average is $81.52 and its 200 day moving average is $81.22. The company has a market cap of $86.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.73 and a beta of 1.01.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. This is a boost from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.90%.
In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,067 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.35, for a total transaction of $168,150.45. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 26,690 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,171,231.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Kathleen Wilson-Thompson sold 23,996 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total value of $2,039,660.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 21.10% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 8.1% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 17,065 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,421,000 after buying an additional 1,284 shares during the last quarter. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC acquired a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the second quarter worth about $683,000. Williams Jones & Associates LLC boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 1,302.9% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 34,370 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $2,862,000 after buying an additional 31,920 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund acquired a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the second quarter worth about $2,906,000. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the second quarter worth about $6,119,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.74% of the company’s stock.
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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