Equities analysts predict that Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) will announce sales of $27.56 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have issued estimates for Kroger’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $27.49 billion to $27.63 billion. Kroger reported sales of $27.75 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 0.7%. The company is scheduled to report its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, December 6th.

On average, analysts expect that Kroger will report full year sales of $121.36 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $120.50 billion to $121.94 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post sales of $123.14 billion, with estimates ranging from $120.76 billion to $124.99 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Kroger.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Kroger had a net margin of 3.05% and a return on equity of 28.05%. The business had revenue of $27.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.64 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.44 EPS. Kroger’s revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on KR shares. Credit Suisse Group set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Telsey Advisory Group raised their price objective on shares of Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Kroger from $28.00 to $27.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Stephens set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.11.

Shares of KR stock opened at $29.56 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.26. The company has a market cap of $22.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.49, a P/E/G ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger has a 12-month low of $22.85 and a 12-month high of $32.74.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th were issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.89%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.45%.

In other news, insider Erin S. Sharp sold 25,314 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total transaction of $734,106.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Calvin J. Kaufman sold 10,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.47, for a total transaction of $288,435.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 124,688 shares in the company, valued at $3,425,179.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 51,425 shares of company stock worth $1,480,298 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Kroger by 2,400.4% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 12,142,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $353,481,000 after acquiring an additional 11,657,299 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in Kroger by 64.3% in the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 18,848,786 shares of the company’s stock valued at $548,688,000 after acquiring an additional 7,375,253 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Kroger by 5,574.9% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 6,969,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $198,276,000 after acquiring an additional 6,846,478 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in Kroger in the second quarter valued at approximately $154,021,000. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in Kroger by 31.9% in the third quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 17,935,028 shares of the company’s stock valued at $522,076,000 after acquiring an additional 4,332,791 shares during the last quarter. 79.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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