Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc to Post FY2018 Earnings of $5.58 Per Share, SunTrust Banks Forecasts (WBA)

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks raised their FY2018 EPS estimates for shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst D. Macdonald now expects that the pharmacy operator will earn $5.58 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $5.55. SunTrust Banks has a “Hold” rating and a $80.00 price target on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Q1 2019 earnings at $1.40 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.55 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.45 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.05 EPS.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $30.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.39 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.19% and a return on equity of 19.15%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.10 EPS.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on WBA. BidaskClub cut shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Needham & Company LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $94.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Saturday, September 16th. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $96.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Raymond James Financial restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $86.15.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ WBA) traded up $0.66 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $74.08. 4,561,127 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,455,783. The company has a market cap of $73,370.00, a P/E ratio of 20.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a current ratio of 0.96. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a fifty-two week low of $63.82 and a fifty-two week high of $88.00.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 12th. Investors of record on Monday, November 13th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 10th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is currently 44.20%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, October 25th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the pharmacy operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.37, for a total transaction of $184,324.32. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 16,415 shares in the company, valued at $1,105,878.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director John Anthony Lederer acquired 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were bought at an average price of $67.00 per share, with a total value of $1,340,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,350,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 14.80% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its holdings 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 buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 10.4% in the second quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,325 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 983.3% in the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,365 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $105,000 after purchasing an additional 1,239 shares in the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 46.3% in the second quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,946 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 2,199 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bristlecone Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in the third quarter worth about $135,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.18% 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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