Macquarie Group Ltd. cut its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 25.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 823,700 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 278,725 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $68,409,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of WBA. Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 26.5% in the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 9,154,328 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $760,267,000 after buying an additional 1,917,082 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 32,846,862 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $2,727,932,000 after buying an additional 1,824,300 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.4% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 5,269,500 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $437,632,000 after buying an additional 962,959 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.9% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 4,912,489 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $407,982,000 after buying an additional 914,888 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 53.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 2,211,112 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $183,632,000 after buying an additional 766,200 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.17% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ WBA) traded up 1.22% on Friday, reaching $80.72. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,992,347 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $79.08 and a 200-day moving average price of $82.30. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 12-month low of $75.18 and a 12-month high of $89.69. The stock has a market cap of $86.38 billion, a PE ratio of 20.38 and a beta of 1.25.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $30.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 17.34% and a net margin of 3.69%. The company’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.18 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 EPS for the current year.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the pharmacy operator to buy up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This is a positive change from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.78%.

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WBA has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reduced their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Needham & Company LLC initiated coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Leerink Swann set a $86.00 price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $90.69.

In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total value of $218,305.44. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 19,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,528,058.29. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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