Walgreens Under Pressure After Arkansas Opioid Lawsuit

Sentiment surrounding WBA has been been generally pessimistic

Deputy Editor
Mar 16, 2021 at 10:37 AM
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Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) is in the hot seat today, following news that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is suing the company for its alleged role in fueling the state's opioid crisis, and violating its Deceptive Trade Practices. Walgreens has asserted that it will defend itself in the suit, insisting that the health and safety of its customers is its top priority. WBA is trading slightly higher this morning, down 0/2% at $54.94. 

Earlier this month, WBA staged an impressive bounce off its 60-day moving average, stringing together four consecutive wins, and reaching a roughly annual high of $56.12 during yesterday's session. While the security is notching even more intraday records today, it should be noted that its relative strength index (RSI) of 76 sits in "overbought" territory, indicating that a short-term drop may have already been in the cards for the equity. 

And despite its 38.1% year-to-date lead, the brokerage bunch is still hesitant towards WBA, with just two "strong buy" ratings on the books, compared to 12 "hold" or worse ratings. On top of this, the 12-month consensus price target of $46.61 is a 15.5% discount to current levels.

Option traders have rarely been more bearish, either. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), WBA sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio stands higher than 90% of readings from the past 12 months. This suggests a much healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts of late. 

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