Investors bought shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) on weakness during trading on Wednesday. $6.82 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $3.41 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $3.41 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Kroger Company (The) had the 21st highest net in-flow for the day. Kroger Company (The) traded down ($0.09) for the day and closed at $22.35

A number of research firms have commented on KR. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $27.00 price objective (down previously from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, June 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Thursday. Loop Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, May 24th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned 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 an average target price of $29.91.

The firm has a market cap of $20.43 billion, a PE ratio of 13.71 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.18 and a 200 day moving average of $26.95. Kroger Company (The) also saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors bought 31,730 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 607% compared to the average volume of 4,485 put options.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.39. The business had revenue of $27.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th were issued a $0.125 dividend. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.20%. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.12%.

Kroger Company (The) declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 22nd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, 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 SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The stock was purchased 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 company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of KR. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Kroger Company (The) in the first quarter valued at about $102,000. Dupont Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in Kroger Company (The) in the second quarter valued at about $105,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC lifted 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 during the period. Cedar Wealth Management LLC lifted 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 during the period. Finally, CWM LLC lifted 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 during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

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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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