Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) shares saw strong trading volume on Friday . 16,383,999 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 108% from the previous session’s volume of 7,878,437 shares.The stock last traded at $34.20 and had previously closed at $34.40.

Several analysts have commented on the stock. Wolfe Research downgraded shares of Kroger from a “peer perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 target price on shares of Kroger in a report on Thursday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of Kroger from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Vetr raised shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $41.31.

The firm has a market capitalization of $32.45 billion and a PE ratio of 16.00. The company has a 50-day moving average of $36.13 and a 200 day moving average of $36.98.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 16th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.01. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $34.61 billion for the quarter. Kroger’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Kroger Co. will post $2.22 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.40%. This is a boost from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In other news, EVP Christopher Conlon sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.43, for a total transaction of $531,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 15,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $531,450. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Oflen Mary Elizabeth Van sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.85, for a total value of $454,200.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 82,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,116,909.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of KR. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in Kroger by 23.7% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 21,188,773 shares of the company’s stock valued at $886,326,000 after buying an additional 4,059,107 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Kroger by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 7,416,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $310,231,000 after buying an additional 40,342 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Kroger by 30.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,544,443 shares of the company’s stock valued at $273,753,000 after buying an additional 1,542,548 shares during the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management increased its position in Kroger by 44.4% in the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 5,599,309 shares of the company’s stock valued at $234,219,000 after buying an additional 1,720,768 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP purchased a new position in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at $115,147,000.

The Kroger Co (Kroger) operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores throughout the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes some of the food for sale in its supermarkets. The Company operated, either directly or through its subsidiaries, approximately 2,625 supermarkets and multi-department stores, approximately 1,330 of which had fuel centers.

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