IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 3.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 40,474 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,388 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $944,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter valued at $102,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 15.8% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 3,682 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 502 shares in the last quarter. Cedar Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 155.9% in the second quarter. Cedar Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,990 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 3,040 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC boosted its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 1,162.2% in the second quarter. CWM LLC now owns 5,213 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 4,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust boosted its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 9.3% in the second quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 5,287 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 450 shares in the last quarter. 77.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) opened at 23.94 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.41 and a beta of 0.76. Kroger Company has a 52 week low of $20.46 and a 52 week high of $36.44. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $23.37 and a 200-day moving average price of $28.52.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The business had revenue of $36.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $35.69 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.70 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Kroger Company will post $1.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.92%.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several research firms have recently weighed in on KR. Loop Capital began coverage on Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Monday, May 15th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $32.00 price objective for the company. TheStreet cut Kroger Company (The) from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Sunday, July 2nd. Vetr cut Kroger Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.46 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price objective on Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. Eighteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.55.

In other news, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 124,105 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,627,302.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $22.73 per share, with a total value of $45,460.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.85% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Kroger Company (The)

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR)

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