Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its position in Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 8.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 177,521 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 14,200 shares during the period. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $4,140,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 3,334.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,026,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,124,067,000 after buying an additional 69,929,316 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 54.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,963,267 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,237,497,000 after buying an additional 14,723,540 shares in the last quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter worth about $270,002,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 15.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,348,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,015,609,000 after buying an additional 9,054,273 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 74.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,421,749 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,358,000 after buying an additional 3,589,125 shares in the last quarter. 77.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) opened at 21.10 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $23.35 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.72. The company has a market capitalization of $18.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.70 and a beta of 0.76. Kroger Company has a 12 month low of $20.46 and a 12 month high of $36.44.

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

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. This is a positive change from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.37%. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.12%.

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KR has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, May 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $34.00 to $24.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $40.00 to $30.00 in a report on Monday, June 19th. TheStreet downgraded Kroger Company (The) from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger Company (The) currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.09.

In related news, 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 transaction of $131,254.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,627,302.85. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The shares were bought at an average price of $22.73 per share, with a total value of $45,460.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company (The) 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.

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

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