Cigna Investments Inc. New lowered its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 7.8% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 35,387 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,979 shares during the period. Cigna Investments Inc. New’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $825,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter valued at $102,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Cedar Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. CWM LLC increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust increased its stake in shares of 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 during the period. 77.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) opened at 23.49 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $21.08 billion, a PE ratio of 14.14 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’s 50 day moving average is $23.43 and its 200 day moving average is $28.42.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58. The firm had revenue of $36.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $35.69 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.35% and a return on equity of 29.10%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.70 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be paid a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%. This is a positive change 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 has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 22nd that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Loop Capital assumed coverage on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Monday, May 15th. They set a “hold” rating and a $32.00 price target for the company. TheStreet downgraded shares of 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 set a $28.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Sunday, July 2nd. Vetr downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.46 price target for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.09.

In other news, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at $2,627,302.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $22.73 per share, for a total transaction 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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