Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) – Stock analysts at Northcoast Research upped their FY2019 earnings estimates for shares of Kroger in a research note issued to investors on Monday. Northcoast Research analyst C. Cerankosky now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $2.03 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $1.98. Northcoast Research has a “Buy” rating on the stock.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 30th. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $27.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.31% and a return on equity of 28.60%. The company’s revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.41 EPS.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on KR. BidaskClub raised shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Telsey Advisory Group upped their target price on shares of Kroger from $24.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. BMO Capital Markets set a $29.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Pivotal Research set a $30.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday. Finally, Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, August 11th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 price target on the stock. Eighteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.16.

Kroger (KR) traded up $0.19 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $26.41. 8,174,251 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 12,349,835. Kroger has a 52 week low of $19.69 and a 52 week high of $36.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.11, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The firm has a market capitalization of $23,600.00, a PE ratio of 13.86, a P/E/G ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.93.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KR. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 6,611.2% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 8,260,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,630,000 after buying an additional 8,137,179 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 17.7% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 49,409,616 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,152,232,000 after buying an additional 7,446,349 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership purchased a new stake in shares of Kroger during the third quarter worth approximately $119,454,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 255.5% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 6,596,264 shares of the company’s stock worth $153,825,000 after buying an additional 4,740,751 shares during the period. Finally, Equity Investment Corp Acquisition Inc purchased a new position in Kroger in the second quarter valued at approximately $71,486,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.10% of the company’s stock.

In related news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 1,538 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.61, for a total transaction of $39,388.18. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 25,956 shares in the company, valued at $664,733.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Jorge P. Montoya sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.98, for a total transaction of $269,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.87% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 15th were paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.89%. Kroger’s payout ratio is 29.76%.

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About Kroger

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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