Kroger (NYSE:KR)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by research analysts at Pivotal Research in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, March 6th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $28.00 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of $32.00. Pivotal Research’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 19.25% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “We expect management will also provide tax rate guidance on Thursday and more color on the after-tax proceeds from the c- store sale. We’ve assumed roughly $1.4-$1.5 billion of debt reduction in FY18 based on the sale. We’ve further refined our revenue, share count, rent, D&A, and margin assumptions based on the c-store sale to EG Group. Our 4Q17 EPS est. is unchanged at $0.61 and this assumes ID sales growth (ex. fuel) of +1.3% based on strong execution in the latest quarter. As summarized in this note, we estimate that Kroger comped positively in 80% of its markets during the latest quarter. That said, it’s also clear that the pricing environment remains extremely competitive. We’re also seeing very strong top-line performance by Aldi and WMT based on analysis of our data. Following the recent 50 bps decline in Walmart’s U.S.””
Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on KR. TheStreet raised shares of Kroger from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Moffett Nathanson assumed coverage on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Northcoast Research raised shares of Kroger from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Sixteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.27.
Shares of Kroger (KR) traded down $0.53 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $23.48. 10,355,172 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 11,537,329. Kroger has a 12 month low of $19.69 and a 12 month high of $31.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.78. The company has a market cap of $20,730.00, a P/E ratio of 14.00, a PEG ratio of 3.76 and a beta of 1.04.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63. The company had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.55% and a return on equity of 29.27%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.53 EPS. equities analysts predict that Kroger will post 2.05 earnings per share for the current year.
In related news, 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 transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 290,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,031,163.98. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total transaction of $92,834.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 110,130 shares of company stock valued at $3,187,062 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its stake in Kroger by 297.2% during the fourth 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 in the last quarter. Compagnie Lombard Odier SCmA purchased a new position in Kroger in the 4th quarter worth approximately $119,000. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its stake in Kroger by 97.2% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 4,980 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 2,455 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new position in Kroger in the 4th quarter worth approximately $152,000. Finally, Clear Perspective Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Kroger in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $160,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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.
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