Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Since the company reported a dull performance in its fiscal second quarter, Walgreens Boots was trading below the broader industry. The situation is expected to deteriorate further on the recent news breakout that FTC may block the company’s mega $17 billion Rite Aid merger on regulatory issues. Declining sales at the Retail Pharmacy International and Pharmaceutical Wholesale divisions were also major disappointments. Currency headwind and stiff competition are other major woes. On a positive note, in the last-reported quarter, the company’s Retail Pharmacy USA division saw the highest comparable prescription growth in seven years. Management is also optimistic about its cost savings program and strategic tie-ups. The company’s strong cash position is also encouraging.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on WBA. Jefferies Group LLC cut their target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Leerink Swann set a $90.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. Pivotal Research started coverage on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Tuesday, April 4th. They set a “hold” rating and a $85.00 target price for the company. Finally, Barclays PLC set a $79.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Walgreens Boots Alliance presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.62.

Analyst Recommendations for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) traded up 1.22% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $82.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,414,348 shares. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $76.26 and a 12-month high of $88.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $89.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.29 and a beta of 1.20. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $83.42 and a 200 day moving average of $83.86.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 5th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.36 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.66% and a return on equity of 16.86%. The company had revenue of $29.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.31 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post $4.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th were issued a $0.375 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is 38.36%.

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In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.89, for a total value of $234,995.04. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,887 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,879,874.43. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 13.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the first quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,300 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the first quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,451 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% in the first quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 3,027 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $243,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC raised its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.6% in the first quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 2,703 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $218,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Glassman Wealth Services raised its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 2,898 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $240,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.32% of the company’s stock.

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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