Triangle Securities Wealth Management Takes Position in Kroger Company (The) (KR)

Triangle Securities Wealth Management purchased a new position in Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 17,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $409,000.

A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 3,334.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,026,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,124,067,000 after buying an additional 69,929,316 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 15.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,348,907 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,015,609,000 after buying an additional 9,054,273 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 54.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,963,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,237,497,000 after buying an additional 14,723,540 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 0.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 39,313,488 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,159,353,000 after buying an additional 288,686 shares during the period. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 0.7% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 9,457,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $278,889,000 after buying an additional 64,600 shares during the period. 77.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) traded up 0.29% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $24.13. 7,953,630 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.53 and a beta of 0.76. The company’s 50 day moving average is $23.58 and its 200 day moving average is $28.89. Kroger Company has a 52-week low of $20.46 and a 52-week high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The firm had revenue of $36.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $35.69 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.70 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Kroger Company will post $1.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be paid a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. This is a positive change from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.92%.

Kroger Company (The) declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $27.00 target price (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub raised shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) cut shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $33.00 to $26.00 in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Vetr cut shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.26 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Nineteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.51.

In other news, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $22.73 per share, with a total value of $45,460.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Kroger Company (The)

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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