Kroger Company (The) (KR) Rating Lowered to Market Perform at UBS AG

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) was downgraded by equities research analysts at UBS AG from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report released on Friday.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on KR. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price objective on Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Bank of America Corporation cut Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. ValuEngine cut Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued 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 $29.70.

Shares of Kroger Company (NYSE KR) traded down 7.51% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $21.06. The stock had a trading volume of 62,444,244 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $23.12 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.90. The firm has a market cap of $18.90 billion, a PE ratio of 12.68 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Company has a 52-week low of $20.41 and a 52-week high of $36.44. Kroger Company (The) also was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Traders acquired 31,730 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 607% compared to the average volume of 4,485 put options.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39. The business 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 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The business’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.47 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Kroger Company will post $1.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $22.73 per share, for a total transaction of $45,460.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 124,105 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of Nova Scotia increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 906.4% in the 1st quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 211,840 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,247,000 after purchasing an additional 190,790 shares in the last quarter. Holderness Investments Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) in the 1st quarter worth $277,000. Hosking Partners LLP increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 10.2% in the 1st quarter. Hosking Partners LLP now owns 528,328 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,580,000 after purchasing an additional 48,785 shares in the last quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 10.8% in the 1st quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 9,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $272,000 after purchasing an additional 898 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cardinal Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) in the 2nd quarter worth $455,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.63% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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