Kroger (KR) Stake Boosted by Coho Partners Ltd.

Coho Partners Ltd. grew its holdings in Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 2.0% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 5,559,603 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 109,358 shares during the period. Kroger makes up 3.5% of Coho Partners Ltd.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 16th largest position. Coho Partners Ltd.’s holdings in Kroger were worth $133,097,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in KR. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL acquired a new position in Kroger during the 4th quarter worth about $271,000. National Pension Service lifted its stake in Kroger by 15.9% during the 4th quarter. National Pension Service now owns 977,602 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,835,000 after acquiring an additional 134,291 shares in the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Kroger during the 4th quarter worth about $1,390,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Kroger by 4.5% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,879,362 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,489,000 after acquiring an additional 167,013 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Kroger by 375.6% during the 4th quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 8,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,000 after acquiring an additional 6,799 shares in the last quarter. 79.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 price target on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. TheStreet lowered Kroger from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Monday, March 5th. Finally, Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price target (down previously from $32.00) on shares of Kroger in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.39.

Kroger opened at $25.30 on Friday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. Kroger has a one year low of $24.71 and a one year high of $25.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.14 billion, a PE ratio of 12.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. The business had revenue of $31.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.81 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.53 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Kroger will post 2.07 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Kroger’s payout ratio is currently 24.51%.

Kroger declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, March 15th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total value of $92,834.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares in the company, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

About Kroger

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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