North Star Asset Management Inc. lowered its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 4.5% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 29,614 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 1,404 shares during the period. North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $2,459,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. State Street Corp raised its stake in 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 valued at $3,123,757,000 after buying an additional 677,743 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in 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 valued at $2,727,932,000 after buying an additional 1,824,300 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 26.5% in the first quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 9,154,328 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $760,267,000 after buying an additional 1,917,082 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.4% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 5,269,500 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $437,632,000 after buying an additional 962,959 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 22.9% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 4,912,489 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock valued at $407,982,000 after buying an additional 914,888 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 61.16% of the company’s stock.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) traded down 0.099% on Tuesday, reaching $81.449. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 842,621 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $79.23 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $87.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.568 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 52 week low of $75.18 and a 52 week high of $88.00.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $30.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.72 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.69% and a return on equity of 17.34%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.18 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. will post $5.01 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This is a positive change from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.96%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is presently 37.78%.

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

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A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $95.00 price target on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC dropped their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $90.69.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total transaction of $218,305.44. Following the transaction, the director now owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,528,058.29. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 13.50% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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