St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC boosted its position in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 6.3% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 26,150 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,544 shares during the period. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $643,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 3,790.9% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 13,012,258 shares of the company’s stock valued at $473,000 after acquiring an additional 12,677,827 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 2,400.4% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 12,142,940 shares of the company’s stock valued at $353,481,000 after acquiring an additional 11,657,299 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $221,584,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 4.7% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 57,852,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,590,947,000 after acquiring an additional 2,587,501 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 13.2% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 21,333,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $586,680,000 after acquiring an additional 2,485,028 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.20% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages have recently weighed in on KR. ValuEngine upgraded Kroger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price objective on Kroger from $33.00 to $30.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, March 8th. Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective (down previously from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, March 8th. Evercore ISI began coverage on Kroger in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. They issued an “in-line” rating and a $27.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Scotiabank set a $32.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.33.
In related news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 80,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.52, for a total value of $1,961,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 126,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,109,136. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.
Shares of KR traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $25.68. 1,662,691 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,251,136. Kroger Co has a 52 week low of $23.52 and a 52 week high of $32.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.50 billion, a PE ratio of 12.17, a P/E/G ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). Kroger had a return on equity of 23.50% and a net margin of 2.57%. The business had revenue of $28.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.38 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Kroger Co will post 2.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.18%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.54%.
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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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