Sandy Spring Bank boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 712.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 29,147 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after buying an additional 25,561 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $2,421,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the first quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,300 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Tarbox Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 288.3% in the first quarter. Tarbox Group Inc. now owns 1,355 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,006 shares during the period. Howe & Rusling Inc. raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 209.2% in the first quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 1,441 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 975 shares during the period. Webster Bank N. A. raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 18.4% in the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,509 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 235 shares during the period. Finally, Orrstown Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 13.9% in the first quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,515 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 185 shares during the period. 61.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ WBA) opened at 81.06 on Monday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $78.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $82.40. The stock has a market cap of $86.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.47 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 1-year low of $75.18 and a 1-year high of $88.00.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $30.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.72 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.69% and a return on equity of 17.34%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.18 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.97%. This is a boost from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.78%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the pharmacy operator to purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several brokerages have recently commented on WBA. Needham & Company LLC began coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. BidaskClub lowered Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Leerink Swann set a $86.00 price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Pivotal Research set a $85.00 price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.69.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total transaction of $218,305.44. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at $1,528,058.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 13.50% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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