Kroger Co. (KR) Sees Large Decrease in Short Interest
Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) was the target of a large decline in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 17,368,760 shares, a decline of 20.6% from the September 15th total of 21,872,342 shares. Currently, 1.9% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 11,687,970 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.5 days.
KR has been the topic of several research reports. BMO Capital Markets cut Kroger from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $34.01 to $35.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada dropped their price target on Kroger from $39.00 to $37.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. Zacks Investment Research cut Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. Citigroup Inc. dropped their price target on Kroger from $44.00 to $43.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Vetr cut Kroger from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.25 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, October 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.66.
Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) opened at 30.83 on Tuesday. Kroger has a 12 month low of $28.71 and a 12 month high of $42.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.11 billion, a PE ratio of 14.62 and a beta of 0.70. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $30.70 and its 200 day moving average is $34.25.
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Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Friday, September 9th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.02. Kroger had a net margin of 1.82% and a return on equity of 32.52%. The firm earned $26.60 billion during the quarter. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.44 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Kroger will post $2.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 10th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.56%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.86%.
In other Kroger news, insider Kevin M. Dougherty sold 31,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.05, for a total transaction of $962,550.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 130,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,063,109.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Eastern Bank boosted its position in Kroger by 1.4% in the third quarter. Eastern Bank now owns 221,214 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,565,000 after buying an additional 3,086 shares during the last quarter. CrestPoint Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Kroger by 83.7% in the third quarter. CrestPoint Capital Management LLC now owns 46,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,368,000 after buying an additional 21,000 shares during the last quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC boosted its position in Kroger by 13.0% in the third quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 35,207 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,045,000 after buying an additional 4,040 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service boosted its position in Kroger by 8.6% in the third quarter. National Pension Service now owns 622,799 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,485,000 after buying an additional 49,404 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in Kroger by 12.9% in the third quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 329,676 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,785,000 after buying an additional 37,547 shares during the last quarter. 80.17% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
The Kroger Co (Kroger) operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores across the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. It operates through retail operations segment. The Company operates, either directly or through its subsidiaries, approximately 2,778 retail food stores under a range of local banner names, approximately 1,387 of which have fuel centers.
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