Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors acquired 574 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 280% compared to the typical daily volume of 151 put options.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance 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 sale, the director now directly owns 21,887 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,879,874.43. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 13.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WBA. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,059,545 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $5,652,346,000 after buying an additional 3,349,028 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased 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 worth $4,579,159,000 after buying an additional 53,241,759 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 1.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 37,612,843 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $3,123,757,000 after buying an additional 677,743 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 32,846,862 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $2,727,932,000 after buying an additional 1,824,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 12.1% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 9,375,018 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $778,594,000 after buying an additional 1,009,067 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.32% of the company’s stock.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ WBA) traded up 1.30% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $79.46. 3,125,342 shares of the company were exchanged. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12-month low of $76.26 and a 12-month high of $88.00. The company has a 50 day moving average of $83.02 and a 200 day moving average of $83.80. The stock has a market cap of $85.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.43 and a beta of 1.20.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 5th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.31 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post $4.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th were given a dividend of $0.375 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.90%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is presently 38.36%.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Friday, March 31st. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Leerink Swann set a $90.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, Pivotal Research initiated coverage on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Tuesday, April 4th. They set a “hold” rating and a $85.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Walgreens Boots Alliance has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $90.62.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance Company Profile

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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