The Kroger Co. (KR) Downgraded by Vetr Inc. to Buy

The Kroger Co. (KR) Downgraded by Vetr Inc. to Buy

Vetr cut shares of Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. The firm currently has $33.25 price objective on the stock.

KR has been the subject of several other reports. Jefferies Group decreased their price target on shares of Kroger from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a sector perform rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kroger from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, June 20th. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued an outperform rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. set a $35.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $38.93.

Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) opened at 30.11 on Tuesday. Kroger has a 52-week low of $28.71 and a 52-week high of $42.75. The company has a market cap of $28.43 billion, a PE ratio of 14.28 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a 50 day moving average of $30.88 and a 200-day moving average of $34.45.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, September 9th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. Kroger had a net margin of 1.82% and a return on equity of 32.52%. The firm earned $26.60 billion during the quarter. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Kroger will post $2.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be issued a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 10th. Kroger’s payout ratio is 22.86%.

In related news, insider Kevin M. Dougherty sold 31,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.05, for a total transaction of $962,550.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 130,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,063,109.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Euclid Advisors LLC raised its position in Kroger by 40.3% in the first quarter. Euclid Advisors LLC now owns 739,729 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,295,000 after buying an additional 212,459 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in Kroger by 8.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,559,304 shares of the company’s stock valued at $59,643,000 after buying an additional 124,390 shares in the last quarter. Capital Advisors Inc. OK raised its position in Kroger by 5.8% in the second quarter. Capital Advisors Inc. OK now owns 10,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $386,000 after buying an additional 580 shares in the last quarter. CrestPoint Capital Management LLC raised its position in Kroger by 4.6% in the second quarter. CrestPoint Capital Management LLC now owns 25,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $923,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lincoln National Corp acquired a new position in Kroger during the second quarter valued at approximately $211,000. 80.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Kroger

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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