You exaggerate a bit. WBA is down about 4% over the past year, about the same as the S&P500. Over the past 5 years WBA is up 122% while the S&P gained 50%. WBA was also a strong dividend stock during that time. That said, I don't think we will outperform the S&P going forward. I don't share the street's enthusiasm for the current CEO and I think the pending purchase of RAD will provide some trying times for stockholders. I would love to be proven wrong on both counts as I intend to continue holding a long, though diminished, position.
Wally, which planet have you been living on? Walgreens, despite shareholder and hedge fund pressure, did not move their headquarters. They are still in Chicago, Illinois. Their European CEO has taken up residence there also. Over the past 3 years they have paid Uncle Sam over $4 billion in corporate income tax at an effective tax rate of 31.3%. As for the poor service, that is an industry standard today. Low reimbursement rates on expensive pharmaceuticals, a situation orchestrated by big pharmaceutical companies, the federal government and insurance companies, have destroyed the retail pharmacy business. Don't like the service at Walgreens? Try CVS, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, Kroger etc. Same ugly story.
Actually, this stock has been anything but boring. Are you new to the stock? Between the low of 2012 and the high of 2015 the stock price more than tripled. A lot of speculation went into that high over $90 in July 2015. The merger with Boots Alliance, the distribution agreement with ABC and discussions of other acquisitions. The Boots Alliance merger has been successful in terms of meeting their cost savings goals, but a little disappointing in adding top earnings due the growing strength of the dollar. The ABC agreement is also providing cost savings by providing greater buying power and the utilizations of ABC's distribution efficiency. Part of that agreement included options for WBA to buy 8% of ABC stock this year and another 8% option next year. WBA exercised the first option last month and bought 22.7 million shares of ABC at about $35 dollars under the market price. That's $800 million added to WBA's war chest and the gain will be reported this quarter (q3). Next year they can purchase another 22.7 million shares for $52.50 per share. If the merger with RAD plays out then ABC will pick-up the RAD business (currently serviced by McKesson) and that should drive the price of ABC stock up well over $100 per share. Thus WBA could see a gain on investment next year of well over $1 billion. Additionally all those ABC shares (WBA will own over 50 million shares next year) are paying
a dividend of $1.36 each. It becomes clear that WBA can continue to acquire even as it digests the RAD business. So while WBA stock is spending a little time churning and trading in a range, growth opportunities and windfall profits should catapult it higher before long.
The fed raised rates 60 days ago. How often do you think they should raise rates? There are many considerations besides inflation risk when the fed makes a decision about rates.
Much of what you speak of is true. Walgreens is a very changed company and not such a good employer. You can't lay it at the hands of the Brits though. Most of the negative changes happened before the Walgreens/Boots merger. The talent drain began about 5 years ago. The quality of the pharmacist/technician staff has suffered and the company will, in time, pay a price for their overzealous frugality.
The short position in LOW is very modest. They exert no control whatsoever. If you can manage to hold a long position for a couple of years, the return should be well above the market average.
I don't get CVS either. The stores are unappealing and it is difficult to find what you want. They don't carry. much. I think they manage to drive some rx business into the stores via their PBM. That's about the only edge they have got, except for some good locations around the country.
Sure, it's not been pretty for those getting in recently, but that's not an unusual situation. After a big run-up in price it is normal to have an extended period of consolidation. Microsoft, IBM, Google, Apple and Amazon have been huge winners over time but they all had periods of "rough times" coupled with price erosion.
that's a lot of new business for ABC. Walgreens will have to sell off some of those stores, but many will become new Walgreens locations and many current Walgreens stores will have significant increase in volume. The biggest benefit I see to the deal for Walgreens is that they hold a large position in ABC and ABC shares will soar again. Take heart ABC longs and hold your shares. The agreement between ABC and WBA will continue to benefit shareholders of both companies.
You might want to heed your own advice. Assuming you are short ABC or somehow benefiting from the lower share price for ABC, keep your eyes open. Trains run in many directions simultaneously.
Maybe WBA's recent purchase of ABC shares for $800million below market price will provide a push in that direction. They have the option to repeat that performance in a year. WBA benefitting from it's distribution deal with ABC.
I agree. I was not implying that WBA needed the deal to go through. They just need the matter settled one way or the other, yes or no. That will provide some clarity for would be investors.