Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) – Equities research analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings reduced their FY2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Kroger Company (The) in a report issued on Wednesday. Oppenheimer Holdings analyst R. Parikh now forecasts that the company will earn $1.73 per share for the year, down from their previous forecast of $1.90. Oppenheimer Holdings has a “Hold” rating and a $22.00 price objective on the stock.

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on KR. UBS AG restated a “neutral” rating and set a $27.00 price objective (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Stephens began coverage on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday, August 11th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 price objective for the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $33.00 to $26.00 in a research report on Friday, June 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger Company (The) currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.54.

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Kroger Company (KR) traded down 0.24% during trading on Thursday, hitting $20.65. The stock had a trading volume of 15,098,311 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $18.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.49 and a beta of 0.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $21.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.57. Kroger Company has a 12-month low of $19.69 and a 12-month high of $36.44. Kroger Company (The) also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 19,399 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 127% compared to the typical volume of 8,553 put options.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39. The business had revenue of $27.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.48 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 28.04% and a net margin of 1.32%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.47 earnings per share.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.42%. Kroger Company (The)’s payout ratio is presently 30.30%.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Aldebaran Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.6% during the first quarter. Aldebaran Financial Inc. now owns 14,130 shares of the company’s stock worth $417,000 after buying an additional 78 shares during the last quarter. Savant Capital LLC grew its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.9% during the second quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 10,617 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the last quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.7% during the first quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 19,717 shares of the company’s stock worth $581,000 after buying an additional 143 shares during the last quarter. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 1.4% during the second quarter. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp now owns 11,343 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. grew its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.4% during the second quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 52,201 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,217,000 after buying an additional 191 shares during the last quarter. 75.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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