Analysts Set The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Target Price at $34.40

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-two research firms that are covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, sixteen have assigned a hold recommendation and two have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $34.40.

KR has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of The Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. Barclays lowered shares of The Kroger from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their price target on The Kroger from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 27th. Telsey Advisory Group lowered shares of The Kroger from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $43.00 to $39.00 in a report on Thursday, January 28th. Finally, Bank of America cut shares of The Kroger from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $40.00 to $28.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 23rd.

In other news, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 13,000 shares of The Kroger stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.90, for a total value of $453,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 114,277 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,988,267.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark C. Tuffin sold 21,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total transaction of $756,000.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 243,243 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,756,748. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,730 shares of company stock valued at $2,708,071 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of The Kroger by 16.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,230,358 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,294,036,000 after buying an additional 10,380,236 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of The Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at about $226,065,000. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in shares of The Kroger by 95.1% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,623,467 shares of the company’s stock worth $146,842,000 after purchasing an additional 2,253,301 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of The Kroger by 92.4% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,254,719 shares of the company’s stock worth $71,609,000 after buying an additional 1,082,663 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.64% of the company’s stock.

KR traded up $0.08 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $37.23. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 353,351 shares, compared to its average volume of 11,625,217. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.83. The company’s 50-day moving average is $34.96 and its 200-day moving average is $33.33. The Kroger has a 52 week low of $30.01 and a 52 week high of $42.99. The firm has a market cap of $28.00 billion, a PE ratio of 9.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 0.36.

The Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 3rd. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $30.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.79 billion. The Kroger had a net margin of 2.29% and a return on equity of 27.26%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that The Kroger will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 14th will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 13th. The Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.73%.

The Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates combination food and drug stores, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouses. 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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Analyst Recommendations for The Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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