Kroger (NYSE:KR) Lowered to “Neutral” at Bank of America

Bank of America cut shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Monday morning, The Fly reports. Bank of America currently has $40.00 price target on the stock.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on KR. Telsey Advisory Group boosted their price objective on Kroger from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Kroger from $33.00 to $34.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, May 21st. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on Kroger from $37.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, May 22nd. BofA Securities cut shares of Kroger from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $40.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st. They issued a neutral rating and a $36.00 target price for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $35.33.

Kroger stock opened at $32.02 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.91 billion, a PE ratio of 9.79, a PEG ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.31. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $35.23 and its 200-day simple moving average is $33.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a current ratio of 0.84. Kroger has a 52 week low of $23.71 and a 52 week high of $37.22.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its earnings results on Friday, September 11th. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $30.49 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.03 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 2.03% and a return on equity of 26.31%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Kroger will post 3.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 14th were given a $0.72 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.99%. This is an increase from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.73%.

In other news, CEO W Rodney Mcmullen sold 85,381 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.97, for a total transaction of $2,729,630.57. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 3,097,481 shares in the company, valued at approximately $99,026,467.57. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Bobby S. Shackouls sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total transaction of $360,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 24,845 shares in the company, valued at $894,420. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 327,517 shares of company stock worth $10,981,405 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 36.6% during the first quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 16,466,175 shares of the company’s stock worth $495,961,000 after purchasing an additional 4,413,450 shares during the period. AJO LP lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger by 423.7% during the second quarter. AJO LP now owns 4,007,360 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,648,000 after buying an additional 3,242,226 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of Kroger by 4,005.7% in the first quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,275,976 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,772,000 after acquiring an additional 3,196,185 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its stake in shares of Kroger by 140.6% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 4,338,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,855,000 after acquiring an additional 2,534,946 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Kroger by 42.9% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,623,096 shares of the company’s stock worth $229,609,000 after acquiring an additional 2,288,325 shares during the period. 81.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. 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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