Aperio Group LLC Boosts Stake in Kroger Company (The) (KR)

Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 11.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 447,471 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 46,588 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $10,435,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter valued at about $102,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC raised 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 in the last quarter. CWM LLC raised 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 in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 4.1% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 4,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA raised its position in Kroger Company (The) by 23.4% in the first quarter. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA now owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 948 shares in the last quarter. 77.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) remained flat at $22.86 during mid-day trading on Friday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,969,409 shares. The company has a market cap of $20.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.76 and a beta of 0.76. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $23.46 and a 200-day moving average price of $28.04. Kroger Company has a 12 month low of $20.46 and a 12 month high of $36.44.

Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 15th. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.58. Kroger Company (The) had a return on equity of 29.10% and a net margin of 1.35%. The company had revenue of $36.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $35.69 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.70 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Kroger Company will post $1.98 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.19%. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. Kroger Company (The)’s payout ratio is presently 30.12%.

Kroger Company (The) declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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KR has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $27.00 price objective (down from $32.00) on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a report on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub raised shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research note on Friday, August 11th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $20.00 price target for the company. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 price target on shares of Kroger Company (The) and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of Kroger Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $33.00 to $26.00 in a research note on Friday, June 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Kroger Company (The) presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.09.

In other news, insider J Michael Schlotman purchased 2,000 shares of 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 acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total value of $131,254.00. Following the completion of 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. 0.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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.

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

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