Kroger Co (KR) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-three analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $31.12.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on KR. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Kroger from $32.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th. Stephens set a $30.00 price target on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price target (up from $35.00) on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Pivotal Research reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, Loop Capital set a $30.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th.

Shares of KR stock traded up $0.54 on Friday, reaching $29.50. 5,058,435 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,051,572. Kroger has a 52 week low of $22.85 and a 52 week high of $32.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.73.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Kroger had a return on equity of 26.64% and a net margin of 2.99%. The business had revenue of $27.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.64 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.44 EPS. The business’s revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.14 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 15th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.45%.

In related news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.39, for a total transaction of $1,369,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 230,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,319,475.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 5,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.60, for a total transaction of $170,496.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 262,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,771,776. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 162,848 shares of company stock valued at $4,605,898. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KR. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its holdings in Kroger by 4.0% in the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 381,404 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,489,000 after purchasing an additional 14,525 shares during the period. CI Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Kroger during the 4th quarter worth about $802,000. Kaizen Advisory LLC increased its position in shares of Kroger by 24.9% during the 4th quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,147 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,000 after purchasing an additional 428 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Kroger by 107.7% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 102,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,828,000 after purchasing an additional 53,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers acquired a new stake in Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $227,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.46% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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