First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 94.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 1,489,023 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 722,385 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $34,724,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 30.4% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 234,119 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,079,000 after buying an additional 54,565 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC increased its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 6.3% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 14,351 shares of the company’s stock worth $423,000 after buying an additional 855 shares during the last quarter. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA increased its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 23.4% in the first quarter. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA now owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 948 shares during the last quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp increased its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 2,059.1% in the first quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp now owns 11,875 shares of the company’s stock worth $454,000 after buying an additional 11,325 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Howard Capital Management increased its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 6.6% in the first quarter. Howard Capital Management now owns 255,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,527,000 after buying an additional 15,830 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.33% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company (KR) opened at 23.58 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $21.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.20 and a beta of 0.76. The company’s 50-day moving average is $23.46 and its 200 day moving average is $28.27. Kroger Company has a one year low of $20.46 and a one year high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. The firm had revenue of $36.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.69 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.35% and a return on equity of 29.10%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.70 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.12%. This is an increase from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.92%.

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A number of research firms have recently weighed in on KR. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, May 12th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.46 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger Company (The) currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.09.

In other news, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,627,302.85. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The stock was bought at an average price of $22.73 per share, for a total transaction of $45,460.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company (The) Company Profile

The Kroger Co (Kroger) manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The Company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores throughout the United States. As of January 28, 2017, it had operated approximately 4,000 owned or leased supermarkets, convenience stores, fine jewelry stores, distribution warehouses and food production plants through divisions, subsidiaries or affiliates.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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