Kroger (KR) Shares Gap Down After Analyst Downgrade

Shares of 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 traded.

KR has been the topic of several other reports. ValuEngine raised Kroger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 16th. Northcoast Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Wolfe Research lowered Kroger from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 25th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Kroger from $26.50 to $28.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Finally, Bank of America raised Kroger from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $28.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.20.

In related news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the vice president now directly owns 29,361 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $844,422.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 13,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 101,171 shares in the company, valued at $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 institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Landaas & Co. WI ADV purchased a new stake in Kroger during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $100,000. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. purchased a new stake in Kroger during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $109,000. Bridgeworth LLC purchased a new stake in Kroger during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $109,000. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV increased its holdings in Kroger by 100.2% during the 2nd quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 5,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after purchasing an additional 2,587 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kiley Juergens Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Kroger during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $173,000. 78.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.28 billion, a PE ratio of 13.63, a P/E/G ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.94.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.03. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.59% and a net margin of 2.93%. The company had revenue of $27.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.95 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.39 EPS. Kroger’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Kroger Co will post 2.12 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.455 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 27th. This is an increase from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $1.82 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.55%. Kroger’s payout ratio is currently 27.45%.

About Kroger (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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