Eaton Vance Management lessened its position in Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 17.7% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 339,630 shares of the company’s stock after selling 72,926 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $7,920,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Aldebaran Financial Inc. grew its holdings in Kroger Company (The) by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Aldebaran Financial Inc. now owns 14,130 shares of the company’s stock worth $417,000 after acquiring an additional 78 shares during the last quarter. Savant Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 10,617 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 19,717 shares of the company’s stock valued at $581,000 after purchasing an additional 143 shares in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 4,323 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp now owns 11,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $330,000 after purchasing an additional 189 shares in the last quarter. 74.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on KR shares. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered shares of Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $34.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their target price for the company from $40.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Monday, June 19th. TheStreet lowered shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 15th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $34.00 target price on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger Company (The) has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.58.

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In other news, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,627,302.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 currently owned by company insiders.

Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) opened at 21.73 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $23.02 and a 200 day moving average of $26.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.40 billion, a PE ratio of 13.15 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Company has a one year low of $20.41 and a one year high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, September 8th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39. Kroger Company (The) had a net margin of 1.32% and a return on equity of 28.04%. The business had revenue of $27.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.47 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger Company will post $1.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Kroger Company (The) announced that its board has authorized a share 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 purchase up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders 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. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 11th. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.30%.

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.

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

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