Kroger (KR) Lifted to “Buy” at Jefferies Group

Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday, January 5th, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $33.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $26.98. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Kroger’s FY2018 earnings at $2.03 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $0.58 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $1.94 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $2.35 EPS.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on KR. Northcoast Research upgraded Kroger from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Oppenheimer reiterated a hold rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Citigroup upped their target price on Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an overweight rating on shares of Kroger in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Kroger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Seventeen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.80.

Shares of Kroger (KR) opened at $28.14 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.11. The company has a market capitalization of $24,801.52, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.91. Kroger has a 12-month low of $19.69 and a 12-month high of $34.99.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 30th. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.04. Kroger had a return on equity of 28.60% and a net margin of 1.31%. The company had revenue of $27.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.48 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.41 earnings per share. Kroger’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Kroger will post 2.04 EPS for the current year.

In other Kroger news, Director Jorge P. Montoya sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.98, for a total transaction of $269,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 108,910 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,938,391.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 15,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.66, for a total value of $425,964.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 290,353 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,031,163.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 58,868 shares of company stock valued at $1,607,426. Insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its position in shares of Kroger by 166.9% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 32,272 shares of the company’s stock worth $753,000 after purchasing an additional 20,182 shares during the period. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. increased its position in Kroger by 9.6% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 55,625 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,297,000 after acquiring an additional 4,868 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust Group LLC increased its position in Kroger by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 48,837 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,139,000 after acquiring an additional 952 shares during the period. Tredje AP fonden increased its position in Kroger by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 136,942 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,193,000 after acquiring an additional 6,340 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its position in Kroger by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 239,935 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,593,000 after acquiring an additional 18,598 shares during the period. 79.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co (Kroger) manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The Company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores throughout the United States. As of January 28, 2017, it had operated approximately 4,000 owned or leased supermarkets, convenience stores, fine jewelry stores, distribution warehouses and food production plants through divisions, subsidiaries or affiliates.

Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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