Kroger (NYSE:KR) Shares Sold by Vident Investment Advisory LLC

Vident Investment Advisory LLC reduced its position in shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) by 6.7% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 187,529 shares of the company’s stock after selling 13,540 shares during the quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $5,147,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted 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 buying an additional 2,823 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger by 97.2% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after purchasing an additional 2,455 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $152,000. Clear Perspective Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the third quarter valued at approximately $160,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $162,000. 75.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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In other news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 31,273 shares in the company, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction, the vice president now owns 319,124 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,777,959.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 62,800 shares of company stock worth $1,888,824. Insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:KR opened at $23.77 on Friday. Kroger has a twelve month low of $19.69 and a twelve month high of $31.45. 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 company has a market capitalization of $20,985.22, a P/E ratio of 11.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.04.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting 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 company 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 earned $0.53 EPS. Kroger’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.06 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The business 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 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.10%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.51%.

KR has been the topic of several research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, March 9th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, March 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set 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 set a $36.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note 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 issued a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.14.

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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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