Advisor Group Inc. Purchases 13,337 Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR)

Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 17.4% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 89,860 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 13,337 shares during the quarter. Advisor Group Inc.’s holdings in Kroger were worth $2,467,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its holdings in Kroger by 297.2% during the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,773 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 2,823 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its holdings in Kroger by 97.2% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 2,455 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $152,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Kroger in the fourth quarter valued at $162,000. Finally, James Hambro & Partners purchased a new position in shares of Kroger in the fourth quarter valued at $165,000. 75.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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NYSE KR traded down $0.04 on Friday, hitting $23.77. 8,797,066 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,132,233. Kroger has a 52-week low of $19.69 and a 52-week high of $31.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $20,985.22, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.65, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.04. 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 released its earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.63. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. The business had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.81 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.53 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger will post 2.06 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 24.51%.

Kroger announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, March 15th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Loop Capital set a $25.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 26th. Pivotal Research reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 target price (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Monday, March 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Stephens set a $22.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. Seventeen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.14.

In other news, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 8,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.64, for a total transaction of $245,120.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 251,784 shares in the company, valued at $7,714,661.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total value of $92,834.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $763,999.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 62,800 shares of company stock valued at $1,888,824. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

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Kroger Profile

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates retail food and drug stores, 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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