BidaskClub upgraded shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on WBA. Loop Capital lifted their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance to $80.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, June 29th. Leerink Swann reduced their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $75.00 to $70.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Pivotal Research reduced their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $70.00 to $60.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Mizuho cut Walgreens Boots Alliance from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $64.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine cut Walgreens Boots Alliance from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $76.61.

Walgreens Boots Alliance stock opened at $70.28 on Wednesday. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 52 week low of $59.07 and a 52 week high of $83.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.47. The stock has a market cap of $69.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.09.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 28th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.53 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.06. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 21.22% and a net margin of 3.36%. The business had revenue of $34.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.15 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.33 earnings per share. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s quarterly revenue was up 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post 5.97 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 20th were given a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.50%. This is an increase from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 17th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is presently 34.51%.

In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, COO Ornella Barra purchased 1,700,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 16th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $65.15 per share, for a total transaction of $110,755,000.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.99, for a total transaction of $180,548.64. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,943 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $722,128.57. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 1.5% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 53,148,612 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $3,189,715,000 after purchasing an additional 771,307 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 11.5% during the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 11,110,617 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $666,804,000 after purchasing an additional 1,143,819 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 3.0% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,875,615 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $652,699,000 after purchasing an additional 320,484 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 17.2% during the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 8,704,233 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $522,384,000 after purchasing an additional 1,277,546 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. raised its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.7% during the first quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 8,124,379 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $531,903,000 after purchasing an additional 217,119 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.98% of the company’s stock.

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc operates as a pharmacy-led health and wellbeing company. It operates through three segments: Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International, and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. The Retail Pharmacy USA segment sells prescription drugs and an assortment of general merchandise, including non-prescription drugs, beauty products, photo finishing, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards, and convenience foods through its retail drugstores and convenient care clinics.

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Analyst Recommendations for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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