California Public Employees Retirement System lessened its stake in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 3.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,659,807 shares of the company’s stock after selling 90,105 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System owned about 0.31% of Kroger worth $63,676,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Uncommon Cents Investing LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $6,841,000. Private Management Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Kroger by 14.7% in the 4th quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 1,297,395 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,614,000 after buying an additional 165,874 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC grew its position in shares of Kroger by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC now owns 104,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,859,000 after buying an additional 3,450 shares during the last quarter. Connable Office Inc. grew its position in shares of Kroger by 19.9% in the 4th quarter. Connable Office Inc. now owns 98,483 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,703,000 after buying an additional 16,358 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Balter Liquid Alternatives LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger in the 4th quarter valued at about $575,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.73% of the company’s stock.

Kroger opened at $24.33 on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports. Kroger Co has a fifty-two week low of $19.69 and a fifty-two week high of $31.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.78. The company has a market cap of $19.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.93, a PEG ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 1.03.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.51%.

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

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on KR. ValuEngine downgraded Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. TheStreet downgraded Kroger from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Pivotal Research reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $38.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.48.

In other Kroger news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total transaction of $92,834.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

About Kroger

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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