Zacks: Analysts Anticipate The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) to Announce $0.69 Earnings Per Share

Equities research analysts expect The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) to post earnings of $0.69 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Five analysts have made estimates for The Kroger’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.73 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.66. The Kroger reported earnings of $0.57 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 21.1%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings results on Thursday, March 4th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that The Kroger will report full-year earnings of $3.35 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.29 to $3.39. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $2.70 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.62 to $2.88. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow The Kroger.

The Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, December 2nd. The company reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.04. The Kroger had a net margin of 2.29% and a return on equity of 27.26%. The business had revenue of $29.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $30.03 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research firms have issued reports on KR. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of The Kroger in a research report on Friday, November 20th. They set a “hold” rating and a $33.00 price target for the company. Scotiabank raised their price target on shares of The Kroger from $38.00 to $40.00 and gave the stock a “sector outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 14th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of The Kroger from $36.00 to $34.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, December 4th. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of The Kroger from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 14th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group raised their price objective on shares of The Kroger from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 8th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Kroger currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.92.

In other news, SVP Robert W. Clark sold 6,807 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.97, for a total transaction of $210,812.79. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 167,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,173,321.71. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Ronald Sargent acquired 3,200 shares of The Kroger stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 30th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $31.65 per share, with a total value of $101,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 116,520 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,687,858. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 41,307 shares of company stock valued at $1,284,623. 1.36% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in The Kroger by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 61,850,122 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,097,337,000 after purchasing an additional 690,710 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its position in The Kroger by 27.6% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 11,172,802 shares of the company’s stock worth $375,294,000 after purchasing an additional 2,419,345 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners grew its position in shares of The Kroger by 29.0% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 10,059,479 shares of the company’s stock valued at $341,118,000 after acquiring an additional 2,262,346 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of The Kroger by 23.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 7,664,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $259,897,000 after acquiring an additional 1,452,718 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in shares of The Kroger by 51.6% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 6,576,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $223,004,000 after acquiring an additional 2,237,948 shares during the period. 78.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

KR opened at $31.76 on Thursday. The Kroger has a 12-month low of $26.72 and a 12-month high of $37.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.18 billion, a PE ratio of 8.47, a P/E/G ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 0.34. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $31.69 and a two-hundred day moving average of $33.40.

About The Kroger

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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