Scharf Investments LLC Reduces Stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA)

Scharf Investments LLC lowered its stake in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) by 99.5% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 5,484 shares of the pharmacy operator’s stock after selling 1,152,959 shares during the period. Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings in Walgreens Boots Alliance were worth $299,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WBA. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth about $25,000. Meridian Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth about $25,000. Weaver Consulting Group purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth about $27,000. Sageworth Trust Co purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the second quarter worth about $27,000. Finally, Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in Walgreens Boots Alliance in the first quarter worth about $31,000. Institutional investors own 59.80% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ WBA traded up $0.51 during trading on Friday, hitting $56.07. The stock had a trading volume of 1,373,376 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,468,094. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $51.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.88. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc has a one year low of $49.03 and a one year high of $86.31. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $52.32 and a 200 day simple moving average of $55.15.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 27th. The pharmacy operator reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.05. Walgreens Boots Alliance had a net margin of 3.53% and a return on equity of 22.08%. The firm had revenue of $34.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.52 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.53 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc will post 5.98 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 20th were paid a dividend of $0.458 per share. This represents a $1.83 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 19th. This is an increase from Walgreens Boots Alliance’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. Walgreens Boots Alliance’s payout ratio is currently 30.40%.

In other news, CAO Marco Patrick Anthony Pagni sold 215,323 shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.48, for a total transaction of $10,869,505.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 357,851 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,064,318.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 15.73% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms recently commented on WBA. Deutsche Bank began coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Thursday. They issued a “sell” rating for the company. Cleveland Research reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research report on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $74.00 to $73.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 28th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from $61.00 to $58.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $63.65.

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc operates as a pharmacy-led health and wellbeing company. It operates through three segments: Retail Pharmacy USA, Retail Pharmacy International, and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. The Retail Pharmacy USA segment sells prescription drugs and an assortment of retail products, including health, beauty, personal care, consumable, and general merchandise products through its retail drugstores and convenient care clinics.

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

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