Victory Capital Management Inc. trimmed its holdings in Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 83.1% in the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 68,920 shares of the company’s stock after selling 338,783 shares during the quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $1,607,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger Company (The) by 3,334.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,026,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,124,067,000 after acquiring an additional 69,929,316 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger Company (The) by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,348,907 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,015,609,000 after acquiring an additional 9,054,273 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Kroger Company (The) by 54.1% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,963,267 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,237,497,000 after acquiring an additional 14,723,540 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in Kroger Company (The) by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 39,313,488 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,159,353,000 after acquiring an additional 288,686 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in Kroger Company (The) in the 1st quarter valued at about $270,002,000. 74.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. UBS AG reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $27.00 price target (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub raised shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) from $24.00 to $20.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC cut their price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) from $24.00 to $19.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Monday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.83.

Kroger Company (NYSE KR) opened at 21.34 on Tuesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $23.12 and a 200-day moving average price of $26.76. The firm has a market cap of $19.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.85 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Company has a 12-month low of $20.41 and a 12-month high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last released its earnings results on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39. The firm had revenue of $27.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 28.04% and a net margin of 1.32%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.47 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Kroger Company will post $1.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th were paid a $0.125 dividend. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.34%. Kroger Company (The)’s payout ratio is presently 30.30%.

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

In related news, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 26th. The shares were purchased at an average price 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 hyperlink. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 16th. The stock was 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 approximately $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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