NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walgreen (WAG) shares are up 0.45% to $76.42 in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the retail drugstore chain completed its merger with European-based Alliance Boots today. The combined company's stock will trade under the 'WBA' ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.
Walgreen, the nation's largest drugstore chain, said that the company will now be called Walgreen Boots Alliance and that its Walgreen division will operate as a subsidiary.
Walgreen originally purchased a 45% stake in Alliance Boots, the U.K.'s largest drugstore chain, in 2012 for $6.7 billion before purchasing the remaining stake for $16 billion earlier this year. The combined company will operate about 12,800 stores worldwide following the merger.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates WALGREEN CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate WALGREEN CO (WAG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."