Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Walgreens faces tough competitive landscapes along with currency fluctuations. Also, slowdown in generic introduction continues to weigh upon the company’s margins. However, over the last year, Walgreens has been trading above the broader industry. The company finally gaining approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the modified deal involving purchase of a number of Rite Aid (RAD) store buoys optimism. Although investors did not show much optimism regarding the company’s purchase of fewer-than-expected stores, we believe the deal’s financial outcome is pretty attractive. Moreover, this modified merger contract is expected to extend Walgreens’ growth strategy and offer additional operational benefits. We are also upbeat about Walgreens’ ‘Next Chapter plan’ through fiscal 2017 focusing on a multi-faceted cost-reduction initiative across the enterprise.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Loop Capital assumed coverage on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price for the company. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. BidaskClub cut shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $97.00 target price on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $90.18.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) traded up 0.28% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $67.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,359,131 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $72.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.05 and a beta of 1.25. Walgreens Boots Alliance has a 1-year low of $66.92 and a 1-year high of $89.69. The company’s 50-day moving average is $78.27 and its 200-day moving average is $80.61.

Walgreens Boots Alliance declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that permits the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the pharmacy operator to reacquire up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Walgreens Boots Alliance news, Director William C. Foote sold 2,736 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.79, for a total transaction of $218,305.44. Following the completion of 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 filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 13.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 1,306 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Modera Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,451 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $204,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.5% during the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 3,027 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $243,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 2,703 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WealthTrust Arizona LLC boosted its stake in shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. WealthTrust Arizona LLC now owns 5,264 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock worth $412,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.14% 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).

Analyst Recommendations for Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA)

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