Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) Short Interest Down 6.8% in January

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 20,500,000 shares, a decline of 6.8% from the January 15th total of 22,000,000 shares. Approximately 2.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 6,036,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.4 days.

Shares of NASDAQ:WBA opened at $52.85 on Friday. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 12 month low of $49.03 and a 12 month high of $74.94. The stock has a market cap of $46.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.99, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.92. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $54.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 0.66 and a quick ratio of 0.31.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 8th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by ($0.03). Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 21.76% and a net margin of 2.69%. The firm had revenue of $34.34 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.46 EPS. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance will post 5.87 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.458 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 18th. This represents a $1.83 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.47%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is 30.55%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wealthfront Advisers LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 20.2% in the third quarter. Wealthfront Advisers LLC now owns 17,458 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $966,000 after acquiring an additional 2,939 shares during the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 4.0% in the third quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 141,884 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $7,848,000 after acquiring an additional 5,441 shares during the last quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 92.6% in the third quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 1,456 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $82,000 after acquiring an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 20.4% in the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 15,172 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $839,000 after acquiring an additional 2,566 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mission Wealth Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in the third quarter worth approximately $599,000. 60.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

WBA has been the subject of several analyst reports. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, January 9th. Bank of America reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, January 2nd. Cowen reduced their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $60.00 to $54.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, February 10th. BidaskClub downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 23rd. Finally, Pivotal Research reduced their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $60.00 to $55.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and fifteen have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.94.

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc operates as a pharmacy-led health and wellbeing company. It operates through three segments: Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International, and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. The Retail Pharmacy USA segment sells prescription drugs and an assortment of retail products, including health, beauty, personal care, consumable, and general merchandise products through its retail drugstores and convenient care clinics.

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