HPM Partners LLC Reduces Position in Kroger (NYSE:KR)

HPM Partners LLC trimmed its holdings in shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 40.7% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 16,884 shares of the company’s stock after selling 11,572 shares during the quarter. HPM Partners LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $463,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its holdings in Kroger by 10.0% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 347,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,971,000 after purchasing an additional 31,561 shares during the last quarter. Uncommon Cents Investing LLC purchased a new position in Kroger in the fourth quarter worth $6,841,000. Private Management Group Inc. grew its holdings in Kroger by 14.7% in the fourth quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 1,297,395 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,614,000 after purchasing an additional 165,874 shares during the last quarter. Point View Wealth Management Inc. grew its holdings in Kroger by 38.1% in the third quarter. Point View Wealth Management Inc. now owns 64,251 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,289,000 after purchasing an additional 17,710 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC grew its holdings in Kroger by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC now owns 104,180 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,859,000 after purchasing an additional 3,450 shares during the last quarter. 75.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Stephens set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. 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’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.14.

In other Kroger news, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.64, for a total value of $1,225,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 319,124 shares in the company, valued at $9,777,959.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Robert W. Clark sold 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.57, for a total transaction of $325,270.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 130,780 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,867,164.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 62,800 shares of company stock valued at $1,888,824. Insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

NYSE KR opened at $23.77 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $21,223.19, a P/E ratio of 11.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 1.04. Kroger has a 1 year low of $19.69 and a 1 year high of $31.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 0.78 and a quick ratio of 0.32.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63. The business 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%. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.53 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Kroger will post 2.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.51%.

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

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About Kroger

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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