Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) shares shot up 2.3% on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $33.10 and last traded at $33.00, with a volume of 7,133,327 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $32.25.

A number of research firms have weighed in on KR. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. cut their target price on shares of Kroger from $42.00 to $40.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Cleveland Research lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Kroger from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $34.01 to $35.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $40.85.

The firm has a market cap of $31.09 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.33. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $34.40 and its 200 day moving average is $36.19.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 16th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.01. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.63 EPS. The firm earned $34.61 billion during the quarter. The business’s revenue was up 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Kroger Co. will post $2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th will be paid a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.47%. This is a positive change from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 11th.

In related news, VP Oflen Mary Elizabeth Van sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s 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 completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 82,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,116,909.65. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Kroger stock. American International Group Inc. raised its position in Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) by 4.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 487,245 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 21,185 shares during the period. American International Group Inc.’s holdings in Kroger were worth $20,380,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

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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