Kroger (KR) – Analysts’ Recent Ratings Updates

Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Kroger (NYSE: KR) in the last few weeks:

  • 5/17/2019 – Kroger was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 5/17/2019 – Kroger was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Kroger have plunged and underperformed the industry in the past three months. The stock came under pressure following the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein the bottom line not only missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also declined year over year. Although, total sales managed to come ahead of the consensus mark, it fell year over year. Management also provided muted earnings view for fiscal 2019. Nonetheless, Kroger is trying to overcome competition. It is introducing digital coupons, order online pick up in store and smart shopping lists. The “Restock Kroger” program is also gaining traction. The grocery industry is no longer shielded from the e-commerce war. Given this scenario, the Ocado deal along with the buyout of Home Chef and using of Nuro’s self-driven car for grocery delivery services are good moves. Kroger also remains committed to improve identical supermarket sales and margins.”
  • 5/8/2019 – Kroger was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 5/7/2019 – Kroger was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Kroger have plunged and underperformed the industry in the past three months. The stock came under pressure following the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein the bottom line not only missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also declined year over year. Although, total sales managed to come ahead of the consensus mark, it fell year over year. Management also provided muted earnings view for fiscal 2019. Nonetheless, Kroger is trying to overcome competition. It is introducing digital coupons, order online pick up in store and smart shopping lists. The “Restock Kroger” program is also gaining traction. The grocery industry is no longer shielded from the e-commerce war. Given this scenario, the Ocado deal along with the buyout of Home Chef and using of Nuro’s self-driven car for grocery delivery services are good moves. Kroger also remains committed to improve identical supermarket sales and margins.”
  • 4/24/2019 – Kroger was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 4/11/2019 – Kroger was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 4/3/2019 – Kroger was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 3/20/2019 – Kroger is now covered by analysts at Evercore ISI. They set an “in-line” rating and a $27.00 price target on the stock.

NYSE:KR traded down $0.52 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $24.14. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 774,736 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,657,387. Kroger Co has a 1 year low of $23.52 and a 1 year high of $32.74. The firm has a market cap of $20.34 billion, a PE ratio of 11.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.28.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). Kroger had a return on equity of 23.50% and a net margin of 2.57%. The business had revenue of $28.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.38 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Kroger Co will post 2.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.32%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.54%.

In other Kroger news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 80,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.52, for a total value of $1,961,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 126,800 shares in the company, valued at $3,109,136. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 10,916 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.83, for a total transaction of $281,960.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 351,095 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,068,783.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 108,416 shares of company stock valued at $2,694,175 over the last quarter. 1.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in KR. Riverview Trust Co acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Doyle Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Lavaca Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the first quarter valued at about $25,000. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the first quarter valued at about $25,000. Finally, Motco acquired a new position in shares of Kroger during the first quarter valued at about $28,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.32% of the company’s stock.

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.

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