Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC Increases Stake in Kroger Co (KR)

Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 15.6% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 195,462 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 26,376 shares during the period. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $4,679,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its holdings in Kroger by 297.2% during the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,773 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 2,823 shares in the last quarter. Compagnie Lombard Odier SCmA purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter worth about $119,000. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its holdings in Kroger by 97.2% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $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 worth about $152,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter worth about $162,000. 76.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the firm’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 sale, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares in the company, valued at $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, March 9th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $27.00 target price on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $27.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Kroger from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Finally, Pivotal Research restated a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.48.

KR stock opened at $24.61 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $19.75 billion, a PE ratio of 12.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 1.03. Kroger Co has a 12 month low of $19.69 and a 12 month high of $31.45. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.63. The business had revenue of $31.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.55% and a return on equity of 29.27%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.53 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Kroger Co will post 2.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Kroger announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, March 15th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.03%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.51%.

Kroger Profile

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