Lafayette Investments Inc. reduced its position in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) by 1.2% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 102,396 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 1,200 shares during the quarter. Walgreens Boots Alliance comprises 2.9% of Lafayette Investments Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest holding. Lafayette Investments Inc.’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $7,907,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of WBA. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 24.7% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 18,502,701 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $1,448,939,000 after acquiring an additional 3,662,302 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 471.4% during 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 in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 2.8% during 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 in the last quarter. Glenview Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance during the 2nd quarter worth $136,875,000. Finally, Harding Loevner LP boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 85.3% during the 3rd quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 2,844,207 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $115,725,000 after acquiring an additional 1,309,179 shares in the last quarter. 61.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ WBA) opened at $73.85 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $73,140.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.40, a PEG ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc has a 12-month low of $63.82 and a 12-month high of $88.00.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 4th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $30.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.39 billion. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 3.19%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.10 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc will post 5.59 EPS for the current year.

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the pharmacy operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 12th. Investors of record on Monday, November 13th were issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 10th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s dividend payout ratio is 44.20%.

In related news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.37, for a total transaction of $184,324.32. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,415 shares in the company, valued at $1,105,878.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John Anthony Lederer acquired 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $67.00 per share, with a total value of $1,340,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,350,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 14.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

WBA has been the subject of several research reports. BidaskClub lowered Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Saturday, September 16th. Royal Bank of Canada initiated coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $96.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $86.05.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance Company Profile

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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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