Analysts Anticipate Kroger Co (KR) to Announce $0.44 EPS

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Analysts expect Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) to post earnings per share of $0.44 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have issued estimates for Kroger’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.49 and the lowest is $0.39. Kroger also reported earnings per share of $0.44 during the same quarter last year. The company is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, November 29th.

On average, analysts expect that Kroger will report full year earnings of $2.12 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.05 to $2.15. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $2.23 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.12 to $2.35. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Kroger.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $27.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.95 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 3.05% and a return on equity of 28.05%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.39 earnings per share.

Several brokerages have commented on KR. Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $30.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Credit Suisse Group set a $32.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Kroger from $28.00 to $27.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Stephens set a $28.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Kroger has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.16.

Kroger stock traded down $0.42 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $27.58. The company had a trading volume of 8,689,809 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,388,217. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.52, a P/E/G ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.92. Kroger has a 1 year low of $20.36 and a 1 year high of $32.74. 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 company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, November 15th will be given a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.03%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.45%.

In related news, SVP Calvin J. Kaufman sold 10,500 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.47, for a total value of $288,435.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 124,688 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,425,179.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Erin S. Sharp sold 25,314 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total transaction of $734,106.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 36,575 shares of company stock worth $1,044,779. 1.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger by 6.3% in the second quarter. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. now owns 29,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $846,000 after acquiring an additional 1,758 shares during the period. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 40,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,165,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the last quarter. TIAA FSB raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 9.7% during the 2nd quarter. TIAA FSB now owns 20,549 shares of the company’s stock worth $585,000 after buying an additional 1,812 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 94,607 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,692,000 after buying an additional 1,837 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 448,830 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,769,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.57% 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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