Kroger (KR) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at Credit Suisse Group

Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) in a report issued on Tuesday morning. The brokerage issued an outperform rating and a $28.00 target price on the stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Bank of America reduced their price target on Kroger from $33.00 to $28.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 9th. Citigroup lifted their price target on Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. ValuEngine cut Kroger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut Kroger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, TheStreet cut Kroger from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, March 5th. Seventeen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $27.17.

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Shares of NYSE KR opened at $24.23 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $20,914.71, a PE ratio of 11.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.04. 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 has a fifty-two week low of $19.69 and a fifty-two week high of $31.45.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63. The company had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. Kroger’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.53 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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 dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.06%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.51%.

In other Kroger news, insider Robert W. Clark sold 11,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 22nd. The shares were 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 directly owns 130,780 shares in the company, valued at $3,867,164.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $763,999.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 62,800 shares of company stock valued at $1,888,824. Company insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 22.2% during the fourth quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 9,618 shares of the company’s stock worth $264,000 after buying an additional 1,748 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 41.0% during the fourth quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 6,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 1,780 shares during the last quarter. Dowling & Yahnke LLC grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 5.8% during the fourth quarter. Dowling & Yahnke LLC now owns 33,174 shares of the company’s stock worth $911,000 after buying an additional 1,805 shares during the last quarter. Benedict Financial Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 9.4% during the fourth quarter. Benedict Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 21,501 shares of the company’s stock worth $590,000 after buying an additional 1,845 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC now owns 252,161 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,922,000 after buying an additional 1,875 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.69% of the company’s stock.

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Kroger Company 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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