The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty-two ratings firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, sixteen have issued a hold recommendation and two have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $34.40.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on KR shares. Telsey Advisory Group lowered shares of The Kroger from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $43.00 to $39.00 in a report on Thursday, January 28th. Barclays lowered The Kroger from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on The Kroger from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. Bank of America cut The Kroger from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $40.00 to $28.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 23rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of The Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, March 11th.

In related news, SVP Mark C. Tuffin sold 21,000 shares of The Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total transaction of $756,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 243,243 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,756,748. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Clyde R. Moore sold 13,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.89, for a total value of $518,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 132,677 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,292,485.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 73,730 shares of company stock valued at $2,708,071. Company insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Diversified LLC acquired a new position in The Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at about $26,000. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in The Kroger during the 4th quarter worth $29,000. Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC increased its holdings in shares of The Kroger by 46.0% during the fourth quarter. Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC now owns 952 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. Clear Perspectives Financial Planning LLC bought a new stake in shares of The Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,000. Finally, Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in The Kroger in the 3rd quarter valued at about $31,000. 84.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of KR traded up $0.08 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $37.23. 353,351 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,625,217. The Kroger has a 52-week low of $30.01 and a 52-week high of $42.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.83. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $34.96 and a 200 day simple moving average of $33.33. The firm has a market cap of $28.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 0.36.

The Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, March 3rd. The company reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $30.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.79 billion. The Kroger had a return on equity of 27.26% and a net margin of 2.29%. The Kroger’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.57 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that The Kroger will post 3.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 14th will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 13th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.93%. The Kroger’s payout ratio is 32.73%.

About The Kroger

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates combination food and drug stores, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouses. 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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Analyst Recommendations for The Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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