Analysts at Needham on Wednesday initiated stock coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report with a "Hold" rating, while commentating on the looming FTC decision on the pharma giant's acquisition of rival Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Report .

"We expect the FTC will oppose WBA's proposed acquisition of RAD by the July 7 deadline," Needham analyst Kevin Caliendo argued. "We do believe that WBA will litigate and perhaps can structure a transaction for a smaller portion of RAD at a lower price."

If the FTC were to approve the deal by the deadline, it could provide a 25 cent boost to Walgreen's full-year 2019 earnings and help it form the largest retail pharmacy network.

Nonetheless, Caliendo contended that Walgreen's management has done a "commendable" job leveraging its retail network to land partnerships with pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for commercial health plans.

Those efforts could drive earnings per share growth upwards of 10% over the next couple of years, he added.

Shares of Walgreens were down 0.2% by Wednesday's close. 

What's Hot On TheStreet

The stock market may be overvalued: Now may be the time to pay extra attention to red-hot tech stocks such as Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Facebook (FB) - Get Report. As TheStreet first reported Tuesday afternoon, asset valuations are somewhat "rich" by standard metrics, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in London during a conversation about economic issues with British Academy President Lord Nicholas Stern. Yellen's comments on equity valuation and bank strength closely mirrored Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's from an IMF event held earlier in the day.

The iPhone has changed how you make money: TheStreet's Scott Gamm is out with a piece that will really get you thinking. Apple's iPhone will turn 10 years old on Thursday. The device not only turned Apple into one of the world's most valuable companies, helping to boost its stock price more than 700%, it also changed the way we invest and trade stocks Gamm points out.

In fact, the original iPhone -- and the current versions -- have an internal stocks app, allowing users to check the broader market indexes and individual stock prices. Having this in your pocket was a big deal 10 years ago.

"I think it's actually made the life for a typical investor much easier," Angelo Zino, an analyst with CFRA Research, told TheStreet. "I think they've been able to tap news flows much quicker."

Apple, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Facebook are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL, WBA and FB? Learn more now.

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