Walgreen Rating Increased to Outperform at Barrington Research (WAG)
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) was upgraded by equities researchers at Barrington Research from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $65.00 target price on the stock. Barrington Research’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 14.98% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “WAG had a very solid Q4/13 performance with sales increasing 5.1% to $17.9 billion and adjusted EPS up close to 20% to $0.73 versus revenues of $17.1 billion and $0.63 adjusted EPS in Q4/12. Revenue was essentially in line with the Street consensus and EPS was $0.01 above the consensus of $0.72…We are upgrading WAG to OUTPERFORM with a $65 price target. All this said about the positive trends in WAG business, our upgrade of WAG is really based around the management’s execution of the Boots deal and achieving its FY/16 goals. WAG has set a goal of growing EBIT from $3.5 billion to $8.5-9.0 billion with roughly $8 billion in cash flow. We thought we would get a chance at a better re-entry point when we downgraded in May after a 50% return from our previous upgrade around the announcement of the AB deal, but our downgrade in May was a mistake and we are adjusting our rating to reflect that. We continue to view WAG as an asset that presents a very favorable risk/reward opportunity for investors seeking large, high quality blue chip companies that have a secular growth trend underlying the business.”
Shares of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) traded up 0.25% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $56.67. 2,426,702 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Walgreen has a 52-week low of $31.88 and a 52-week high of $56.84. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $51.56 and its 200-day moving average is $49.35. The company has a market cap of $53.593 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.08. Walgreen also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders bought 19,445 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 266% compared to the average daily volume of 5,319 call options.
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 1st. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $17.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $17.95 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. Walgreen’s revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Walgreen will post $3.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Cowen and Company raised their price target on shares of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) to $65.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Citigroup Inc. raised their price target on shares of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) from $63.00 to $64.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at BB&T Corp. raised their price target on shares of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) from $59.00 to $62.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $57.21.
Walgreen Co (NYSE:WAG), together with its subsidiaries, operates the drugstore chain in the United States.
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