Prudential Financial Inc. decreased its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 7.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 2,724,845 shares of the company’s stock after selling 218,368 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. owned approximately 0.30% of Kroger Company (The) worth $63,544,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter worth $102,000. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new position in Kroger Company (The) during the second quarter worth about $105,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC increased its position 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 worth $109,000 after buying an additional 502 shares during the last quarter. Cedar Wealth Management LLC increased its position 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 worth $116,000 after buying an additional 3,040 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CWM LLC increased its position in Kroger Company (The) by 1,162.2% in the second quarter. CWM LLC now owns 5,213 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 4,800 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.63% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) opened at 21.74 on Monday. Kroger Company has a 12 month low of $20.46 and a 12 month high of $36.44. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $23.31 and a 200-day moving average of $27.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.51 billion, a PE ratio of 13.09 and a beta of 0.76.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The business had revenue of $36.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $35.69 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. Kroger Company (The)’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Kroger Company (The) declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 4.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be given a $0.125 dividend. This is a positive change from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.30%. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.12%.

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A number of brokerages have weighed in on KR. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 target price on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $27.00 target price (down previously from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Loop Capital reissued a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Wednesday, May 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price target (down previously from $30.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday, June 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Kroger Company (The) presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.09.

In other news, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of Kroger Company (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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of Kroger Company (The) 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 owns 124,105 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

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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