Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) – Equities researchers at Jefferies Group increased their Q2 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report released on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst B. Tanquilut now expects that the pharmacy operator will post earnings per share of $1.59 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $1.50. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $93.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Q3 2018 earnings at $1.53 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.46 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $5.87 EPS.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 4th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.01. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 3.19%. The firm had revenue of $30.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.39 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.10 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $88.00 target price (up previously from $86.00) on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Wednesday. Pivotal Research set a $73.00 target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. ValuEngine raised Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $86.15.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) traded up $0.61 on Thursday, reaching $75.99. The company had a trading volume of 2,843,096 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,950,212. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $63.82 and a 12-month high of $88.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $75,370.00, a PE ratio of 20.99, a PEG ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48.

Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the pharmacy operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on 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 transaction, the director now owns 16,415 shares in the company, valued at $1,105,878.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director John Anthony Lederer bought 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $67.00 per share, with a total value of $1,340,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now 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.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 139.5% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 46,167 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $3,614,000 after acquiring an additional 26,893 shares in the last quarter. Andra AP fonden boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 6.9% in the third quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 62,300 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $4,811,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,019,739 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $236,476,000 after acquiring an additional 154,995 shares in the last quarter. Birinyi Associates Inc. boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 9.0% in the second quarter. Birinyi Associates Inc. now owns 9,100 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $713,000 after acquiring an additional 750 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.2% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,550,856 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $356,368,000 after acquiring an additional 223,186 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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