Kroger (KR) Holdings Reduced by HGK Asset Management Inc.

HGK Asset Management Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 26.7% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 11,491 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,189 shares during the quarter. HGK Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Kroger were worth $275,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 297.2% in the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,773 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 2,823 shares during the last quarter. Compagnie Lombard Odier SCmA bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the fourth quarter worth about $119,000. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 97.2% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after purchasing an additional 2,455 shares during the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the fourth quarter worth about $152,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the fourth quarter worth about $162,000. 79.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Kroger opened at $24.75 on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports. The company has a market capitalization of $21.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.03. Kroger has a 52 week low of $24.62 and a 52 week high of $24.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63. The company had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.55% and a return on equity of 29.27%. Kroger’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.53 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Kroger will post 2.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Kroger declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, March 15th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. Kroger’s payout ratio is presently 24.51%.

In other news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total transaction of $92,834.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

KR has been the subject of several recent research reports. Stephens set a $29.00 price target on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 price target on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. ValuEngine lowered Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $38.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.17.

About Kroger

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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