Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) have earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the twenty-five analysts that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, fifteen have issued a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $85.44.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on WBA shares. Raymond James Financial reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $95.00 to $85.00 in a report on Friday, October 6th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price objective for the company in a report on Saturday, January 13th.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ WBA) traded up $0.47 during trading on Friday, hitting $76.47. 6,831,481 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,950,000. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a fifty-two week low of $63.82 and a fifty-two week high of $88.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $76,200.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.47.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.19% and a return on equity of 19.15%. The business had revenue of $30.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.39 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.10 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post 5.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.09%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is presently 44.20%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the pharmacy operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider Stefano Pessina bought 98,858 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 15th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $76.07 per share, for a total transaction of $7,520,128.06. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director John Anthony Lederer bought 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $67.00 per share, for a total transaction of $1,340,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, 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 currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WBA. Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% in the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,306 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. Northern Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northern Capital Management LLC now owns 6,635 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $520,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. MAI Capital Management increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.6% in the second quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 5,272 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $413,000 after purchasing an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. Truepoint Inc. increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% in the second quarter. Truepoint Inc. now owns 8,614 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $698,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. increased its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 1.9% in the second quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 3,053 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $239,000 after purchasing an additional 56 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.20% 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).

Analyst Recommendations for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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