Investors Sell Shares of Kroger (KR) on Strength (KR)

Investors sold shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) on strength during trading hours on Friday. $34.21 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $264.88 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $230.67 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Kroger had the 2nd highest net out-flow for the day. Kroger traded up $0.05 for the day and closed at $24.61

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. TheStreet lowered shares of Kroger from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $38.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.48.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.78. The firm has a market cap of $19.75 billion, a PE ratio of 12.06, a PEG ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 1.03.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.03%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.51%.

Kroger declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, March 15th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total value of $92,834.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares in the company, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of KR. Sanders Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Kroger in the 4th quarter worth approximately $293,538,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 12,471.3% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,414,351 shares of the company’s stock valued at $201,439,000 after buying an additional 8,347,418 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $89,873,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 70.1% during the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,645,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,526,000 after buying an additional 1,914,070 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Minneapolis Portfolio Management Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $49,450,000. Institutional investors own 76.73% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company Profile

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.

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