Short Interest in Kroger Co (KR) Drops By 11.9%

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) was the target of a large decrease in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 31,006,474 shares, a decrease of 11.9% from the January 12th total of 35,185,542 shares. Currently, 3.5% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 11,105,010 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.8 days.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) opened at $28.12 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $24,780.00, a P/E ratio of 16.74, a PEG ratio of 4.50 and a beta of 0.96. Kroger has a 1 year low of $19.69 and a 1 year high of $34.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.11, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.85.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 30th. The company reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $27.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.48 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.31% and a return on equity of 28.60%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.41 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Kroger will post 2.04 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.78%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. Kroger’s payout ratio is 29.76%.

A number of brokerages recently commented on KR. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Pivotal Research set a $30.00 price target on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 price target on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group increased their price target on shares of Kroger from $24.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Seventeen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.52.

In related news, Director Jorge P. Montoya sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.98, for a total value of $269,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 108,910 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,938,391.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Carin L. Fike sold 1,538 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.61, for a total transaction of $39,388.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 25,956 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $664,733.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 117,868 shares of company stock valued at $3,403,416 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Formidable Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Kroger by 4.7% during the fourth quarter. Formidable Asset Management LLC now owns 60,430 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,661,000 after buying an additional 2,713 shares during the period. Signaturefd LLC purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $237,000. Pitcairn Co. purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $89,873,000. Finally, Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Kroger by 15.3% during the fourth quarter. Douglass Winthrop Advisors LLC now owns 33,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $931,000 after buying an additional 4,500 shares during the period. 80.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Kroger 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.

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