Shares of Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 16,383,999 shares changed hands during mid-day 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 weighed in on KR shares. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, June 20th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed an “underweight” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Vetr raised shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price objective on shares of Kroger from $44.00 to $43.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $41.31.

The firm has a market cap of $32.45 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.00. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $36.13 and a 200-day moving average of $36.98.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 16th. The company reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.01. The business earned $34.61 billion during the quarter. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.63 EPS. Analysts predict that Kroger Co. will post $2.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, VP Oflen Mary Elizabeth Van sold 12,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 8th. The shares were 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Christopher Conlon sold 15,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred 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 directly owns 15,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $531,450. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of KR. Burney Co. increased its position in shares of Kroger by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 780,481 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,131,000 after buying an additional 30,322 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Kroger by 8.6% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 105,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,409,000 after buying an additional 8,335 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Kroger by 89.7% in the third quarter. Buckingham Capital Management Inc. now owns 105,574 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,808,000 after buying an additional 49,927 shares during the last quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc increased its position in shares of Kroger by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 93,765 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,922,000 after buying an additional 2,621 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Affinity Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Kroger by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. Affinity Investment Advisors LLC now owns 157,894 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,605,000 after buying an additional 20,007 shares during the last quarter.

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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