Sigma Planning Corp raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 81.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 37,516 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 16,799 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $875,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 0.6% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 1,531,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,705,000 after buying an additional 9,346 shares in the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 39.3% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 766,421 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,873,000 after buying an additional 216,269 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 81.6% in the second quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 367,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,645,000 after buying an additional 165,317 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 94.2% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,489,023 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,724,000 after buying an additional 722,385 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Kroger Company (The) by 8.5% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,532,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $82,370,000 after buying an additional 277,566 shares in the last quarter. 77.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) opened at 23.49 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $21.08 billion, a PE ratio of 14.14 and a beta of 0.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $23.43 and a 200-day moving average price of $28.42. Kroger Company has a 12 month low of $20.46 and a 12 month high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58. The company had revenue of $36.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.69 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.35% and a return on equity of 29.10%. Kroger Company (The)’s revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.70 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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 paid a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.13%. This is an increase from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.92%.

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A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on KR shares. Stephens started coverage on Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday. They set an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 price target on the stock. Vetr upgraded Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $27.01 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. BidaskClub upgraded Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $34.00 price target on Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated an “outperform” rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Sunday, July 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger Company (The) currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.09.

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

Kroger Company (The) Company Profile

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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