The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR – Get Free Report) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 19,840,000 shares, a decline of 11.2% from the October 15th total of 22,340,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 4,560,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.4 days. Currently, 2.8% of the shares of the company are short sold.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Telsey Advisory Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Kroger in a report on Thursday, October 5th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, HSBC assumed coverage on Kroger in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. They set a “hold” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.57.
Kroger Trading Down 0.5 %
Kroger (NYSE:KR – Get Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.05. Kroger had a net margin of 1.10% and a return on equity of 30.61%. The company had revenue of $33.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.90 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Kroger will post 4.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Kroger Cuts Dividend
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a $0.29 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.79%.
Insider Buying and Selling at Kroger
In other Kroger news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.50, for a total transaction of $279,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 44,090 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,050,185. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In other Kroger news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.50, for a total transaction of $279,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 44,090 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,050,185. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Carin L. Fike sold 4,798 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.52, for a total transaction of $218,404.96. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,156 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $189,181.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 33,798 shares of company stock worth $1,542,985 over the last three months. 1.38% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Institutional Trading of Kroger
Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. KB Financial Partners LLC bought a new position in Kroger during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $28,000. OFI Invest Asset Management bought a new position in shares of Kroger during the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. boosted its holdings in Kroger by 430.8% in the third quarter. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. now owns 637 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,000 after acquiring an additional 517 shares in the last quarter. Resurgent Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Aspire Private Capital LLC raised its holdings in Kroger by 117.1% in the 4th quarter. Aspire Private Capital LLC now owns 799 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,619,420,000 after purchasing an additional 431 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.98% of the company’s stock.
Kroger Company Profile
The Kroger Co operates as a food and drug retailer in the United States. The company operates combination food and drug stores, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouses. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.
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