Shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the thirty research firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $27.95.

Several research firms recently weighed in on KR. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $27.00 target price (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub raised shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $22.00 target price on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday. Stephens began coverage on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, August 11th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 target price for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 target price on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th.

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Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KR. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 3,334.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,026,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,124,067,000 after acquiring an additional 69,929,316 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 54.1% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,963,267 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,237,497,000 after acquiring an additional 14,723,540 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,348,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,015,609,000 after acquiring an additional 9,054,273 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 6,611.2% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 8,260,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,630,000 after acquiring an additional 8,137,179 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 255.5% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 6,596,264 shares of the company’s stock worth $153,825,000 after acquiring an additional 4,740,751 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.83% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $20.53. 16,921,886 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.26 billion, a PE ratio of 12.42 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a 50-day moving average of $21.48 and a 200-day moving average of $25.61. Kroger Company has a 52 week low of $19.69 and a 52 week high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its earnings results 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 company had revenue of $27.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.32% and a return on equity of 28.04%. Kroger Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.47 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Kroger Company will post $1.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.30%.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 22nd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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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