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Investment analysts at Jefferies Group started coverage on shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) in a note issued to investors on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “hold” rating and a $45.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.78% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “Kroger is on a roll, striking the right balance between planned gross margin sacrifice and sales growth. The company is consistently out-comping and outearning its conventional grocery peers. As valuation has now recovered to near pre-recession levels, we view KR as fairly valued and expect KR shares to grow 10-12% with earnings growth.”

Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) traded up 0.40% on Monday, hitting $40.06. 189,627 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Kroger has a one year low of $23.09 and a one year high of $41.42. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $38.82 and its 200-day moving average is $36.27. The company has a market cap of $20.848 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.28.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, September 12th. The company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.60. The company had revenue of $22.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.67 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.51 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Sunday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.65%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 13th. This is a positive change from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15.

In other Kroger news, EVP Paul Heldman unloaded 80,000 shares of Kroger stock on the open market in a transaction dated Thursday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.92, for a total value of $3,273,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 182,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,458,161. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Kroger in a research note to investors on Wednesday, September 25th. They set a “buy” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Citigroup Inc. raised their price target on shares of Kroger from $44.00 to $47.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday, September 25th. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Kroger in a research note to investors on Tuesday, September 17th. They now have a $42.00 price target on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.60.

The Kroger Co is a retailer in the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes some of the food for sale in its supermarkets.

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