Signaturefd LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) by 62.0% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 3,942 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after buying an additional 1,509 shares during the period. Signaturefd LLC’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $327,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% in the first quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,300 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Tarbox Group Inc. increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 288.3% in the first quarter. Tarbox Group Inc. now owns 1,355 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 1,006 shares during the period. Howe & Rusling Inc. increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 209.2% in the first quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 1,441 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 975 shares during the period. Webster Bank N. A. increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 18.4% in the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,509 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 235 shares during the period. Finally, Orrstown Financial Services Inc. increased its position in Walgreens Boots Alliance by 13.9% in the first quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,515 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 185 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 61.17% of the company’s stock.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) traded up 1.22% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $80.72. 3,992,347 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $86.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.38 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has a 1-year low of $75.18 and a 1-year high of $89.69. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $79.08 and a 200-day moving average of $82.30.

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

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This is an increase from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.98%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.78%.

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A number of equities analysts have issued reports on WBA shares. Needham & Company LLC upgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Pivotal Research set a $85.00 price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $77.00 price target (down previously from $89.00) on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC cut their price target on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $95.00 to $80.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Two 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. Walgreens Boots Alliance has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $90.69.

In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total value of $218,305.44. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 19,151 shares in the company, valued at $1,528,058.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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