Traders Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) saw some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 22,457 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 753% compared to the typical daily volume of 2,633 call options.
A number of analysts have recently issued reports on WBA shares. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Tuesday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Tuesday, January 31st. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a report on Thursday, April 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.77.
In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.89, for a total value of $234,995.04. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 21,887 shares in the company, valued at $1,879,874.43. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 13.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2,808.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 55,137,388 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $4,579,159,000 after buying an additional 53,241,759 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 35.1% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 39,319,406 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $3,169,931,000 after buying an additional 10,206,621 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance during the fourth quarter valued at about $649,813,000. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 4,480.8% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 7,453,892 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $600,933,000 after buying an additional 7,291,172 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Viking Global Investors LP raised its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 562.8% in the fourth quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 7,899,951 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $653,800,000 after buying an additional 6,708,040 shares in the last quarter. 59.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) opened at 80.61 on Friday. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 52-week low of $76.26 and a 52-week high of $89.69. The company has a market capitalization of $87.14 billion, a PE ratio of 20.72 and a beta of 1.20. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $84.04 and its 200-day moving average is $83.94.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 5th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.36 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36. The business had revenue of $29.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.17 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 16.76% and a net margin of 3.52%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s quarterly revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post $4.98 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 18th will be given a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 16th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.68%.
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).
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