Investors Buy Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) on Weakness After Earnings Miss

Traders bought shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) on weakness during trading on Wednesday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. $235.17 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $193.35 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $41.82 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Walgreens Boots Alliance had the 30th highest net in-flow for the day. Walgreens Boots Alliance traded down ($0.52) for the day and closed at $54.84The pharmacy operator reported $1.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.70 by ($0.06). Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 22.00% and a net margin of 3.77%. The firm had revenue of $34.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.73 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 15th were given a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 14th. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.24%.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. TheStreet downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. ValuEngine downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks raised their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance to $58.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Pivotal Research decreased their target price on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $70.00 to $60.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.50.

In related news, COO Ornella Barra purchased 18,000 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $54.56 per share, for a total transaction of $982,080.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 26,425 shares in the company, valued at $1,441,748. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 15.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WBA. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 71,970.7% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 11,640,855 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $848,617,000 after buying an additional 11,624,703 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 12.6% during the third quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 10,888 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $794,000 after buying an additional 1,217 shares during the period. Osterweis Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the third quarter valued at $915,000. Utah Retirement Systems boosted its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% during the third quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 157,497 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $11,482,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, WEALTHFRONT Corp bought a new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance during the third quarter worth about $734,000. 63.07% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 0.78 and a quick ratio of 0.36. The company has a market capitalization of $52.23 billion, a PE ratio of 9.00, a PEG ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 0.86.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance Company Profile (NASDAQ:WBA)

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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