Murphy Capital Management Inc. Has $694,000 Stake in Kroger Co (KR)

Murphy Capital Management Inc. cut its stake in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 3.4% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 25,240 shares of the company’s stock after selling 880 shares during the quarter. Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Kroger were worth $694,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Atlas Brown Inc. lifted its stake in Kroger by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. now owns 7,562 shares of the company’s stock valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 361 shares during the last quarter. O Dell Group LLC lifted its stake in Kroger by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. O Dell Group LLC now owns 9,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 389 shares during the last quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. lifted its stake in Kroger by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. now owns 51,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,417,000 after buying an additional 392 shares during the last quarter. Horrell Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Kroger by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Horrell Capital Management Inc. now owns 62,058 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,707,000 after buying an additional 566 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Great Lakes Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Kroger by 0.6% in the third quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 102,351 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,979,000 after buying an additional 629 shares during the last quarter. 81.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Kroger stock opened at $27.83 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.64, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.73. Kroger Co has a fifty-two week low of $22.85 and a fifty-two week high of $32.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $27.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.64 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 26.64% and a net margin of 2.99%. Kroger’s revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Kroger Co will post 2.13 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 15th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.45%.

KR has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded 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, February 5th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their price target on Kroger from $33.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 price target (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, December 7th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, Pivotal Research restated a “hold” rating and set a $31.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.27.

In related news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 26,078 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.46, for a total transaction of $716,101.88. Following the sale, the director now owns 230,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,335,626.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 5,760 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.60, for a total value of $170,496.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 262,560 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,771,776. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 162,848 shares of company stock worth $4,605,898 in the last three months. 1.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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About Kroger

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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