Todays Report: The Zacks Investment Research lowers the Stock rating of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA)

The Zacks Investment Research lowers the Stock rating of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA)

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published 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.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a buy rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Evercore ISI reiterated a buy rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a buy rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $76.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $98.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, June 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $93.07.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 78.08 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $81.09 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.12. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $71.50 and a 12-month high of $95.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $84.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.98 and a beta of 1.01.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a $0.375 dividend. This is a boost from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 51.90%.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,067 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance 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 completion of the transaction, the director now owns 26,690 shares in the company, valued at $2,171,231.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Kathleen Wilson-Thompson sold 23,996 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction dated 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. 21.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,289,046 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $5,020,269,000 after buying an additional 1,371,240 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 36,198,072 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $3,049,327,000 after buying an additional 746,698 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 9.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 26,167,061 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $2,204,313,000 after buying an additional 2,317,093 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 22,365,047 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,862,337,000 after buying an additional 159,480 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital World Investors boosted its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 11.5% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 19,625,115 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,634,183,000 after buying an additional 2,028,252 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.74% of the company’s stock.

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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