Kroger (NYSE:KR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $31.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.24% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Kroger have fared better than the industry in a year courtesy of initiatives undertaken to overcome competition in the grocery space, which is undergoing a rapid change with technology playing a key role and focus shifting to online shopping. Kroger has taken stock of the situation. It is introducing digital coupons, order online pick up in store and smart shopping lists. The “Restock Kroger” program is also gaining traction. Certainly, the grocery industry is no longer shielded from the e-commerce war. Given this scenario, the Ocado deal along with the buyout of Home Chef and using of Nuro’s self-driven car for grocery delivery services are good moves. Kroger also remains committed to improve identical supermarket sales and margins. Estimates have improved lately ahead of fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 release. The company had kept the full year earnings view intact following better-than-expected third-quarter results.”
Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on KR. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. Telsey Advisory Group upped their price objective on shares of Kroger from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price objective (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, December 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.44.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $27.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.64 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 2.99% and a return on equity of 26.64%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Kroger will post 2.13 EPS for the current year.
In other Kroger news, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 27,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.60, for a total transaction of $811,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 18,564 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.25, for a total transaction of $524,433.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 262,727 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,422,037.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 164,698 shares of company stock valued at $4,663,637 over the last three months. 1.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Kroger by 1.0% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 65,890,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,918,063,000 after buying an additional 660,052 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 65,890,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,918,063,000 after purchasing an additional 660,052 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 24.0% in the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 19,668,821 shares of the company’s stock valued at $572,559,000 after purchasing an additional 3,812,207 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 64.3% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 18,848,786 shares of the company’s stock valued at $548,688,000 after purchasing an additional 7,375,253 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Kroger by 31.9% in the 3rd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 17,935,028 shares of the company’s stock valued at $522,076,000 after purchasing an additional 4,332,791 shares during the period. 79.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Kroger Company Profile
The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.
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