TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 24.2% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 4,591,684 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 895,946 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $126,042,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of KR. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 64.5% during the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,059,817 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,260,000 after acquiring an additional 415,628 shares in the last quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 37.5% during the third quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 10,113 shares of the company’s stock valued at $203,000 after acquiring an additional 2,756 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 17.3% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 416,486 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,352,000 after acquiring an additional 61,528 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 4.1% during the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 97,062 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,947,000 after acquiring an additional 3,831 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in shares of Kroger by 10.0% during the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 347,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,971,000 after acquiring an additional 31,561 shares in the last quarter. 75.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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A number of equities analysts recently commented on KR shares. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Kroger from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Oppenheimer reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Morgan Stanley set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, March 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Sixteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.27.

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) opened at $23.69 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $20,826.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.58, a PEG ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74. Kroger Co has a 12-month low of $19.69 and a 12-month high of $31.45.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63. The business had revenue of $31.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 29.27% and a net margin of 1.55%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.53 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger Co will post 2.07 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. Kroger’s payout ratio is presently 23.70%.

Kroger announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, March 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total transaction of $92,834.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.64, for a total transaction of $1,225,600.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 319,124 shares in the company, valued at $9,777,959.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 110,130 shares of company stock worth $3,187,062 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

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Kroger 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 (NYSE:KR)

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