Investors Buy Shares of Kroger (KR) on Weakness

Traders bought shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $33.82 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $15.85 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $17.97 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Kroger had the 33rd highest net in-flow for the day. Kroger traded down ($0.06) for the day and closed at $29.53

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on Kroger from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Credit Suisse Group set a $33.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Stephens set a $29.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 21st. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group lifted their price objective on Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.84.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65. The stock has a market cap of $23.60 billion, a PE ratio of 14.48, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.77.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.03. Kroger had a return on equity of 28.05% and a net margin of 3.05%. The firm had revenue of $27.87 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.95 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.39 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Kroger Co will post 2.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.45%.

In other Kroger news, insider Mary Ellen Adcock sold 1,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.21, for a total transaction of $57,738.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 97,119 shares in the company, valued at $3,031,083.99. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Clyde R. Moore sold 13,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.06, for a total value of $377,780.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 51,425 shares of company stock valued at $1,480,298. 1.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Chicago Equity Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Kroger by 45.6% during the third quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 283,365 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,249,000 after purchasing an additional 88,700 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Kroger by 1.5% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 585,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,663,000 after acquiring an additional 8,931 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Kroger by 5.0% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 153,774 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,375,000 after acquiring an additional 7,257 shares in the last quarter. Poplar Forest Capital LLC lifted its stake in shares of Kroger by 44.3% in the third quarter. Poplar Forest Capital LLC now owns 757,374 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,047,000 after acquiring an additional 232,431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goodman Financial Corp lifted its stake in shares of Kroger by 8.0% in the second quarter. Goodman Financial Corp now owns 251,903 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,167,000 after acquiring an additional 18,724 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 80.08% of the company’s stock.

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About Kroger (NYSE:KR)

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.

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