Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 21,631,489 shares, a growth of 9.0% from the September 15th total of 19,846,113 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,371,016 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.4 days. Currently, 2.3% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ WBA) opened at 68.92 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $73.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.40 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12 month low of $68.80 and a 12 month high of $88.00. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $79.08 and a 200-day moving average price of $80.85.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, June 29th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the pharmacy operator to reacquire up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley cut Walgreens Boots Alliance from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $95.00 to $85.00 in a report on Friday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. BidaskClub lowered Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Walgreens Boots Alliance currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $91.31.

In other news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total transaction of $218,305.44. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,528,058.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WBA. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 24.7% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 18,502,701 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $1,448,939,000 after buying an additional 3,662,302 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 471.4% in the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 3,295,583 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $258,077,000 after acquiring an additional 2,718,800 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 69,985,653 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $5,480,577,000 after acquiring an additional 1,926,108 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 26.5% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 9,154,328 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $760,267,000 after acquiring an additional 1,917,082 shares during the period. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 5.9% in the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 32,846,862 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $2,727,932,000 after acquiring an additional 1,824,300 shares during the period. 60.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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