Kroger (KR) Shares Gap Down on Analyst Downgrade

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) gapped down prior to trading on Friday after Credit Suisse Group lowered their price target on the stock from $33.00 to $32.00. The stock had previously closed at $28.59, but opened at $28.60. Credit Suisse Group currently has an outperform rating on the stock. Kroger shares last traded at $28.31, with a volume of 435141 shares changing hands.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Stephens set a $28.00 price target on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Kroger from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 21st. Finally, Northcoast Research restated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Kroger has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.20.

In other Kroger news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.76, for a total transaction of $115,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 29,361 shares in the company, valued at approximately $844,422.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 13,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.43, for a total value of $369,590.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 101,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,876,291.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger by 1.5% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 585,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,663,000 after buying an additional 8,931 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger by 5.0% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 153,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,375,000 after buying an additional 7,257 shares during the period. Goodman Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger by 8.0% in the second quarter. Goodman Financial Corp now owns 251,903 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,167,000 after buying an additional 18,724 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger by 3.8% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 249,431 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,970,000 after buying an additional 9,112 shares during the period. Finally, Landscape Capital Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in shares of Kroger in the first quarter valued at $1,131,000. Institutional investors own 78.72% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.29. The firm has a market cap of $25.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.94.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $27.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.95 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.59% and a net margin of 2.93%. The company’s revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.39 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Kroger Co will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be given a dividend of $0.455 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 27th. This is a positive change from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $1.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.55%. Kroger’s payout ratio is 27.45%.

Kroger Company Profile (NYSE:KR)

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.

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