BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ:WBA). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 1.83% to 34.15 million shares with purchase of 0.61 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 3.94% valued currently at $1.39 billion. In addition, The Caisse de dépôt et placement.. raised its holdings by 1.3 million to 16.12 million shares. And Aristotle Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 6.25% or 0.46 million shares – to 7.74 million shares.
With over 7.92 million Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $38.02 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $301.31 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -4.33% and its price on 08/31/20 lost nearly -1.91%. Currently, there are 875.40M common shares owned by the public and among those 718.11M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 22 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for WBA have a consensus price objective of $42.22. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $46.00 and a low of $37.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. stock is 3.10 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 11.0% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -2.76% over that period. But an upside of 17.35% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $42.50.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 26 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 20 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 554,919 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 6 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 303,422 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and Caisse de Dépôt & Placement du Qu. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 21.19 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $862.54 million. The company sold 64174.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.44% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 88841.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 15.2 million shares valued at over $618.7 million and representing 1.75% of the shares outstanding. Caisse de Dépôt & Placement du Qu bought 4.91 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 14.6 million shares at a value of $594.23 million. Caisse de Dépôt & Placement du Qu now owns shares totaling to 1.68% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) opened at $38.61, down -$0.15 from a prior closing price of $38.76. However, the script later closed the day at $38.02, down -1.91%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -4.33% and -12.70% over the past three months. WBA shares are trading -35.52% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -25.73% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $36.65 and touched a high of $64.50 over the same period. Currently, 7.92 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 6.36 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -6.36%, -7.25%, and -19.89% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) shares accounts for 58.80% of the company’s 875.40M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 32.98%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 33.89% and 25.54% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $33.44B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.45. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 46.59, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $0.82. The company has a PEG of 3882.76 and a Quick Ratio of 0.30 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.85. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.32% over the week and 2.50% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) will achieve an EPS of $0.97 for the current quarter, $1.11 for the next quarter and $5.19 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.91 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.02. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.43 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -12.40%, and 11.00% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 0.01% over the next five years, compared to 16.60% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 22 brokerage firm advisors rate Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) as a “Hold” at a consensus score of 3.10. Specifically, 0 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 19 of the 22 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the WBA, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. UBS stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on April 06, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $49-$44. Deutsche Bank coverage for the Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) stock in a research note released on April 03, 2020 offered a Hold rating with a price target of $43. Wells Fargo was of a view on December 11, 2019 that the stock is Market Perform, while Pivotal Research Group gave the stock Hold rating on October 30, 2019, issuing a price target of $60- $55. JP Morgan on their part issued Neutral rating on October 23, 2019.