Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC Lowers Holdings in Kroger (KR)

Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC trimmed its position in Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 15.2% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 236,852 shares of the company’s stock after selling 42,504 shares during the quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $6,501,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in shares of Kroger by 297.2% in the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,773 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 2,823 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Kroger by 97.2% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after acquiring an additional 2,455 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Kroger in the 4th quarter worth approximately $152,000. Clear Perspective Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Kroger in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $160,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the 4th quarter worth approximately $162,000. Institutional investors own 75.69% of the company’s stock.

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KR stock opened at $23.77 on Friday. Kroger has a 1-year low of $19.69 and a 1-year high of $31.45. The company has a market capitalization of $20,985.22, a PE ratio of 11.67, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.78.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.63. The company had revenue of $31.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.53 EPS. analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.06 earnings per share 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 issued a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. Kroger’s payout ratio is currently 24.51%.

Kroger declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, March 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Several analysts recently issued reports on KR shares. Bank of America cut their price target on Kroger from $33.00 to $28.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 9th. Citigroup lifted their target price on Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. ValuEngine downgraded Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $26.98 to $33.00 in a research report on Friday, January 5th. 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. Kroger has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.14.

In other Kroger news, insider Robert W. Clark sold 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.57, for a total transaction of $325,270.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 130,780 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,867,164.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, 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 value of $92,834.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 31,273 shares in the company, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 62,800 shares of company stock worth $1,888,824 over the last three months. 0.85% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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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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