James Investment Research Inc. decreased its position in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 62.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 27,140 shares of the company’s stock after selling 44,685 shares during the period. James Investment Research Inc.’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $633,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $102,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 15.8% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 3,682 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 502 shares during the period. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 4.1% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 4,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 171 shares during the period. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 23.4% in the first quarter. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA now owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 948 shares during the period. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 28.1% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 6,546 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,000 after buying an additional 1,434 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.33% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company (KR) remained flat at $22.86 during midday trading on Friday. 7,969,409 shares of the stock were exchanged. Kroger Company has a one year low of $20.46 and a one year high of $36.44. The company has a market capitalization of $20.51 billion, a PE ratio of 13.76 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $23.46 and a 200 day moving average price of $28.04.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The firm had revenue of $36.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $35.69 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.70 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

Kroger Company (The) declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.19%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. Kroger Company (The)’s payout ratio is presently 30.12%.

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A number of analysts have commented on KR shares. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Vetr downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.46 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective (down from $35.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Monday, June 12th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Monday, June 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger Company (The) currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.09.

In related news, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $22.73 per share, with a total value of $45,460.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.85% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Kroger Company (The)

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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