Kroger (KR) Given Equal Weight Rating at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley restated their equal weight rating on shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The firm currently has a $26.50 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of $29.00.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on KR. ValuEngine cut Kroger from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Citigroup increased their target price on Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Stephens set a $29.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, TheStreet cut Kroger from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, March 5th. Sixteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $27.36.

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Kroger (NYSE:KR) opened at $23.99 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $21,140.00, a PE ratio of 14.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.90 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.78. Kroger has a 1-year low of $19.69 and a 1-year high of $31.45.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63. The firm had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. The company’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.53 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.06 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th were paid a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 29.76%.

In related news, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 16,530 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.00, for a total value of $446,310.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 243,784 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,582,168. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 15,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.66, for a total transaction of $425,964.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 290,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,031,163.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 110,130 shares of company stock valued at $3,187,062 over the last quarter. 0.87% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its holdings in Kroger by 297.2% in the 4th quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,773 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 2,823 shares during the period. Compagnie Lombard Odier SCmA bought a new position in Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $119,000. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its holdings in Kroger by 97.2% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after acquiring an additional 2,455 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC bought a new position in Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $152,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $162,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.78% of the company’s stock.

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Kroger 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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