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Walgreen Co. (WAG) Dividend Stock Analysis

September 30, 2011 | About:

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 operates more than 8,000 drug stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value (see page two of the linked PDF for a detailed description):

1. Avg. High Yield Price

2. 20-Year DCF Price

3. Avg. P/E Price

4. Graham Number

WAG is trading at a discount to 1.) and 3.) above. The stock is trading at a 25.2% discount to its calculated fair value of $46.67. WAG earned a star in this section since it is trading at a fair value.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible stars and three key metrics (see page two of the linked PDF for a detailed description):

1. Free Cash Flow Payout

2. Debt To Total Capital

3. Key Metrics

4. Dividend Growth Rate

5. Years of Div. Growth

6. 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 four-year period over the last 10 years (2001-2004, 2002-2005, 2003-2006, etc.) I consider this a key metric since dividends will double every five 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 36 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) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section (see page two of the linked PDF for a detailed description):

1. NPV MMA Diff.

2. Years to > MMA

WAG earned a star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $9,017. 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 18.8% per year, it will take five years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 4.1%.

Memberships and Peers: WAG is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index and a Dividend Champion. The company's peer group includes: CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS) with a 1.4% yield, Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE:RAD) with a 0.0% yield and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) with a 2.9% yield.

Conclusion: WAG earned one star 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 four stars. This quantitatively ranks WAG as a 4 Star-Strong stock.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $92.33 before WAG's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 36 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 0.8%.

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 10.1%. This dividend growth rate is well below the 18.8% used in this analysis, thus providing a significant margin of safety. WAG has a risk rating of 1.50 which classifies it as a Low risk stock.

With over 8,000 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 affecting reimbursements could quickly weaken WAG’s advantages. Although the stock is trading well below my $46.67 fair value price, the 2.1% dividend yield will prevent any near–term purchases.

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 Dividend Growth Portfolio) and was long in WMT. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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