“We continue to view 2018 as a significant transition year for Kroger accompanied by heavy price investments, new merchandising resets, and a major pickup in M&A/divestiture activity. It should be noted, however, that earnings are set to take a significant step backwards in FY18. The three-year guidance will now require close to $600 million of operating income growth over the next two years in order to hit the $3.1 billion objective by the end of FY20.”,” the firm’s analyst wrote.
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Jefferies Financial Group boosted their target price on Kroger from $33.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. UBS Group boosted their target price on Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Telsey Advisory Group boosted their target price on Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Deutsche Bank downgraded Kroger from a hold rating to a sell rating and lowered their target price for the company from $30.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $32.00 price target on Kroger and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Kroger presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $31.67.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.05. Kroger had a return on equity of 26.64% and a net margin of 2.99%. The firm had revenue of $27.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger will post 2.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th were given a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.45%.
In related news, SVP Calvin J. Kaufman sold 10,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.47, for a total transaction of $288,435.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 124,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,425,179.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Erin S. Sharp sold 25,314 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total value of $734,106.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 51,425 shares of company stock valued at $1,480,298 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of KR. Chicago Equity Partners LLC increased its stake in Kroger by 45.6% during the third quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 283,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,249,000 after acquiring an additional 88,700 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in Kroger by 1.5% during the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 585,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,663,000 after acquiring an additional 8,931 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Kroger by 5.0% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 153,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,375,000 after acquiring an additional 7,257 shares during the period. Poplar Forest Capital LLC increased its stake in Kroger by 44.3% during the third quarter. Poplar Forest Capital LLC now owns 757,374 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,047,000 after acquiring an additional 232,431 shares during the period. Finally, Goodman Financial Corp increased its stake in Kroger by 8.0% during the second quarter. Goodman Financial Corp now owns 251,903 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,167,000 after acquiring an additional 18,724 shares during the period. 79.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Kroger Company Profile
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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