New York State Common Retirement Fund decreased its position in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 5.6% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,315,100 shares of the company’s stock after selling 137,099 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund’s holdings in Kroger were worth $56,951,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in KR. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in Kroger by 3,790.9% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 13,012,258 shares of the company’s stock valued at $473,000 after purchasing an additional 12,677,827 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at $221,584,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Kroger by 4.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 57,852,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,590,947,000 after purchasing an additional 2,587,501 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its holdings in Kroger by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 21,333,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $586,680,000 after buying an additional 2,485,028 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in Kroger by 28.1% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,212,249 shares of the company’s stock valued at $202,022,000 after buying an additional 1,800,051 shares in the last quarter. 81.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, insider Christine S. Wheatley sold 1,500 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.21, for a total transaction of $37,815.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 126,054 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,177,821.34. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 10,916 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.83, for a total value of $281,960.28. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 351,095 shares in the company, valued at $9,068,783.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 108,416 shares of company stock worth $2,694,175 over the last quarter. 1.34% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms have weighed in on KR. ValuEngine lowered Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Kroger from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Kroger from $33.00 to $30.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 target price (down from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, March 8th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.47.

Kroger stock opened at $24.00 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.60 billion, a PE ratio of 11.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.64. Kroger Co has a 52 week low of $23.52 and a 52 week high of $32.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $28.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.38 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 23.50% and a net margin of 2.57%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Kroger Co will post 2.22 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.33%. Kroger’s payout ratio is presently 26.54%.

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About Kroger

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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