In short, WBA made a buyout offer for RAD in the fall of 2015. More than a year-and-a-half later, the parties -- now involving Fred's, Inc. (FRED) -- had yet to satisfy the concerns of the FTC, despite agreements to divest a number of locations. While reports of approval and denial flew both ways leading up to a decision earlier this summer, WBA suddenly abandoned the cause.
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After paying a $325 million breakup fee, Walgreens then agreed to buy 2,186 stores for $5.2 billion, acquiring about half of Rite Aid's locations. And that's where we stand now. WBA stock is essentially flat over the past two years, down less than 6%. Total returns are closer to flat though, when considering the now-2% dividend yield.
Friday analysts at Loop Capital showed WBA some love. Andrew Wolf initiated the stock with a buy rating and $95 price target. The target suggests potential upside of about 18.75% from WBA stock's most recent closing price of $80.50. Analyst Wolf says a return of "core profit growth" beginning at the end of 2017 and pushing into 2018 is the reason behind the move.
At the same time, Wolf started CVS Health (CVS) with a hold rating and $83 price target. Despite the hold rating, Wolf's price target still implies about 10% upside in CVS stock. He argues that Walgreens has taken share in the pharmacy benefit manager business and will continue to do so in 2018.
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