Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) has been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the twenty-two ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten have issued a hold recommendation and seven have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $30.06.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the company. Scotiabank set a $32.00 price target on Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of Kroger from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Pivotal Research reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 target price (down previously from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Kroger in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $27.00 target price on the stock.

In other Kroger news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 80,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.52, for a total value of $1,961,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 126,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,109,136. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of KR. Atlas Brown Inc. boosted its holdings in Kroger by 5.0% during the 4th quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. now owns 7,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $208,000 after acquiring an additional 361 shares during the last quarter. O Dell Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Kroger by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. O Dell Group LLC now owns 9,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after purchasing an additional 389 shares during the last quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Kroger by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. now owns 51,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,417,000 after purchasing an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Utah Retirement Systems raised its holdings in shares of Kroger by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 147,912 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,068,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Summit Global Investments lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 4.8% during the fourth quarter. Summit Global Investments now owns 9,063 shares of the company’s stock valued at $249,000 after purchasing an additional 415 shares in the last quarter. 82.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

KR stock opened at $23.94 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54. Kroger has a 12-month low of $23.25 and a 12-month high of $32.74. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.35, a PEG ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.64.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $28.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.38 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 23.50% and a net margin of 2.57%. The business’s revenue was down 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.63 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Kroger will post 2.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.34%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.54%.

About Kroger

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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Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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