Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating reaffirmed by equities research analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada in a report released on Thursday.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. UBS AG reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Wednesday. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Tuesday. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $24.00 price objective (down previously from $25.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Thursday, August 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.91.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) traded up 0.98% during trading on Thursday, reaching $22.77. 21,066,023 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.43 billion, a PE ratio of 13.71 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Company has a 12 month low of $20.46 and a 12 month high of $36.44. The company has a 50-day moving average of $23.19 and a 200-day moving average of $26.98. Kroger Company (The) also saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders acquired 15,917 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 187% compared to the typical daily volume of 5,552 call options.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.35% and a return on equity of 29.10%. The company had revenue of $36.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.69 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Kroger Company will post $1.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 26th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $22.73 per share, with a total value of $45,460.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of Kroger Company (The) stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total transaction of $131,254.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.85% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Intl Fcstone Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the 2nd quarter worth $645,000. Paradigm Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the 2nd quarter worth $220,000. Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 114.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 72,943 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,701,000 after purchasing an additional 39,000 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 26.9% during the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 315,969 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,368,000 after purchasing an additional 66,919 shares during the period. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 38,135.3% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 13,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 12,966 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

About Kroger Company (The)

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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