According to Zacks, “Stiff competition, deflationary environment and cautious consumer spending are making things tough for Kroger. Despite registering an increase of 4% in the second quarter, total sales fell short of the estimate for the sixth straight quarter. All these compelled management to trim fiscal 2016 earnings projection. Higher debt-to-capitalization ratio also remains cause of concern. In spite of these headwinds, the company remains well positioned to deliver higher earnings, primarily through strong identical supermarket sales growth. We believe there remain enormous opportunities to augment identical supermarket sales, alleviate gross margin pressure and improve operating margin. In our view, Kroger’s long term earnings per share growth rate target of 8% to 11% seem achievable. We expect the company to sustain its earnings growth momentum buoyed by Customer 1st strategy, effective cost management and share repurchase activities.”
Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on KR. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a buy rating and issued a $42.00 target price on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, June 6th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a sector perform rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a report on Monday, June 13th. Wolfe Research downgraded Kroger from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued an underweight rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, June 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lowered their price target on Kroger from $48.00 to $41.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $38.92.
Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) opened at 28.84 on Monday. Kroger has a 12-month low of $28.76 and a 12-month high of $42.75. The company has a 50-day moving average of $31.23 and a 200 day moving average of $34.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.23 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.67 and a beta of 0.70.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its earnings results on Friday, September 9th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. Kroger had a return on equity of 32.52% and a net margin of 1.82%. The company had revenue of $26.60 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. Kroger’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Kroger will post $2.14 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 10th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 22.86%.
In other news, VP Oflen Mary Elizabeth Van sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.85, for a total value of $454,200.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 82,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,116,909.65. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Kevin M. Dougherty sold 31,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.05, for a total value of $962,550.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 130,857 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,063,109.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in KR. Physicians Financial Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Kroger by 7,500.0% in the second quarter. Physicians Financial Services Inc. now owns 3,040 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA raised its position in shares of Kroger by 32.7% in the second quarter. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA now owns 3,246 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC raised its position in shares of Kroger by 2.8% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 3,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Barnett & Company Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the first quarter valued at approximately $145,000. Finally, Ledyard National Bank raised its position in shares of Kroger by 16.2% in the second quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 4,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. 80.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Kroger Company Profile
The Kroger Co (Kroger) operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores across the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. It operates through retail operations segment. The Company operates, either directly or through its subsidiaries, approximately 2,778 retail food stores under a range of local banner names, approximately 1,387 of which have fuel centers.
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