$0.50 EPS Expected for Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) This Quarter

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Wall Street analysts expect that Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) will post earnings of $0.50 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for Kroger’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.48 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.53. Kroger reported earnings per share of $0.48 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 4.2%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 5th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Kroger will report full year earnings of $2.18 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.15 to $2.25. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $2.33 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.16 to $2.49. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that cover Kroger.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 12th. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $28.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.34 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 21.79% and a net margin of 1.54%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on KR. Pivotal Research reissued a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective (up previously from $26.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Wednesday. Bank of America lowered their price objective on Kroger from $37.00 to $30.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $26.00 price objective (up previously from $24.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Wednesday, September 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised Kroger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, May 31st. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $27.00 price objective (down previously from $29.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, June 21st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.18.

In other Kroger news, EVP J Michael Schlotman sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.01, for a total value of $330,150.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 270,655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,957,116.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Stephen M. Mckinney sold 15,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.05, for a total value of $343,980.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 168,070 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,705,943.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 43,600 shares of company stock worth $955,450 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 30.2% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 10,689,834 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,077,000 after acquiring an additional 2,477,585 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 170.2% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,450,595 shares of the company’s stock worth $74,912,000 after acquiring an additional 2,173,370 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 27.3% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 8,038,624 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,075,000 after acquiring an additional 1,726,318 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 87.5% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 3,514,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,454,000 after acquiring an additional 1,639,961 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $35,064,000. 80.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE KR traded up $0.64 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $26.23. 12,448,878 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,862,179. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.16, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.75. The stock has a market cap of $20.62 billion, a PE ratio of 12.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.56. The company’s fifty day moving average is $23.17 and its two-hundred day moving average is $23.96. Kroger has a fifty-two week low of $20.70 and a fifty-two week high of $31.98.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th were issued a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.44%. This is a positive change from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.33%.

About Kroger

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.

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