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Stock Analysis: Walgreen Co. (WAG)

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March 05, 2010 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: WAG

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Walgreen Co. (WAG). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Walgreen Co is the largest U.S. retail drug chain in terms of revenues. It sells prescription and non-prescription drugs, beauty care, personal care, household items, candy, photofinishing, greeting cards, seasonal items and convenience foods.

Fair Value: I consider four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

- Avg. High Yield Price
- 20-Year DCF Price
- Avg. P/E Price
- Graham Number

WAG is trading at a discount to 1.) and 3.) above. The stock is trading at a slight premium to its calculated fair value of $33.49. WAG did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

- Free Cash Flow Payout
- Debt To Total Capital
- Key Metrics
- Dividend Growth Rate
- Years of Div. Growth
- Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

WAG earned two Stars in this section for 2.) and 3.) above. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. WAG earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15% means that dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period over the last 10 years (2000-2003, 2001-2004, 2002-2005, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every 5 years if they grow by 15%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1933 and has increased its dividend payments for 35 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA)? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

- NPV MMA Diff.
- Years to > MMA

WAG earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $1,477. This amount is in excess of - the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as WAG has. If WAG grows its dividend at 15.7% per year, it will take 7 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.98%.

Other: WAG is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index.

Conclusion: WAG did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned two Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of three Stars. This quantitatively ranks WAG as a 3 Star-Hold.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $48.65 before WAG's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 35 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.13%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $500 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 12.7%. This dividend growth rate is less than the 15.7% used in this analysis, thus providing only a margin of safety. WAG has a risk rating of 1.00 which classifies it as a low risk stock.

With over 7,000 drugstores, WAG offers unmatched convenience with one of the the most recognized brand names in the retail pharmacy business. The company enjoys a strong market share within the relatively stable U.S. retail drug industry. However, pressures from non-traditional competitors and potential adverse legislation could quickly weaken WAG's advantages. Although the stock is trading slightly above my $33.49 fair value price, the sub-2.% dividend yield will prevent any near--term purchases. For additional information, including the stock's dividend history, please refer to its data page.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I held no position in WAG (0.0% of my Income Portfolio). See a list of all my income holdings here.



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