Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) EVP Christopher T. Hjelm sold 16,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.80, for a total transaction of $412,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 282,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,286,668.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Shares of KR stock opened at $25.22 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $20.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.76. Kroger Co has a fifty-two week low of $23.52 and a fifty-two week high of $32.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $28.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.38 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 2.57% and a return on equity of 23.50%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.63 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger Co 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 given 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 2.22%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.54%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in KR. Teacher Retirement System of Texas lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 35.3% during the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 2,890,189 shares of the company’s stock worth $79,480,000 after purchasing an additional 754,495 shares in the last quarter. Pendal Group Ltd lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 45.0% during the fourth quarter. Pendal Group Ltd now owns 296,833 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,163,000 after purchasing an additional 92,090 shares in the last quarter. Financial Advocates Investment Management lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 359.2% during the fourth quarter. Financial Advocates Investment Management now owns 19,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $398,000 after purchasing an additional 15,562 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 181.7% during the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 1,034,762 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,455,000 after purchasing an additional 667,370 shares in the last quarter. Finally, MUFG Securities EMEA plc lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 846.8% during the fourth quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 204,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,624,000 after purchasing an additional 182,902 shares in the last quarter. 82.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

KR has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Buckingham Research lowered their target price on shares of Kroger from $24.00 to $22.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 8th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Pivotal Research restated a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 target price (down from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, March 8th. Scotiabank set a $32.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Kroger from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 8th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.33.

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Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.

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