Dividend Aristocrat Overview: Walgreens Boots Alliance

Photo: Flickr.com/Nick Bastian

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens has served customers since 1901. Photo courtesy Brandon Bartoszek/Eridony via Flickr

Walgreens has served customers since 1901.
Photo courtesy Brandon Bartoszek/flickr.com.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the United States’ and Europe’s largest retail pharmacy, with a presence in more than 25 countries.  The company has more than 13,200 stores and 400,000 employees across the United States and Europe.  It also operates one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, serving more than 230,000 pharmacies, doctors, and hospitals around the world.  Walgreens Boots Alliance’s portfolio of brands include Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots, Alliance Healthcare, and beauty brands Botanics, Liz Earle, and Soap & Glory.

Walgreen’s began operating in Chicago in 1901 when Charles R. Walgreen opened Walgreen’s drugstore on Chicago’s South Side.  Over time the company expanded, growing to 20 stores by 1919 and exploding to over 500 stores by 1929.  The company went public in 1927 and continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace, eventually opening its 1,000th store in 1984.  Walgreens merged with European healthcare retailer and pharmaceutical wholesaler Alliance Boots GmbH on January 1, 2015 to create Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Dividend and Stock Split History

Walgreens Boots Alliance has paid out dividends for over 81 years and began increasing dividends 38 years ago, in 1976.  The company met the Dividend Aristocrat criteria of 25 consecutive years of regular dividend increases in 2000.  Walgreens Boots Alliance traditionally announces annual dividend increases in July, with the stock going ex-dividend in August.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has compounded its payout at an average rate of 9.1% over the last 5 years and 16.2% over the last 10 years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance split its stock 2 for 1 nine times: in September 1963, September 1967, February 1982, January 1983, May 1985, February 1991, August 1995, August 1997, and in February 1999.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Direct Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Walgreens has both direct purchase and dividend reinvestment plans.  Investors interested in participating in either of these plans can find information at ComputerShare’s Investment Plan site.  The minimum initial investment amount for new investors is $250 and $50 for recurring investments through direct debit.  The minimum for additional investments is $50.

The plans have both purchase and sales fees.  There is a $10 initial setup fee. The transaction fee for the direct purchase plan is either $5 for check purchases and $1.50 for automatic investments.  There is also a 10 cent per share transaction fee for direct stock purchases. However, Walgreens pays all transaction fees on stock purchases through dividend reinvestments.

When selling shares, an investor will pay 12 cents per share sold along with a transaction fee of between $15 and $30 depending on the type of sale (i.e., market order, batch order or day limit order).  There is an additional $5 fee for the direct deposit of sales proceeds into your account.  Investors can minimize fees by buying and selling shares in larger quantities.

Helpful Links

Walgreens Investor Relations Website

Current quote and financial summary for Walgreens (finviz.com)

Information on the direct purchase and dividend reinvestment plans for Walgreens

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