National Pension Service increased its stake in shares of The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR – Get Rating) by 5.4% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 1,176,285 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 60,647 shares during the quarter. National Pension Service owned approximately 0.16% of Kroger worth $67,483,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Key Financial Inc raised its stake in Kroger by 81.6% in the first quarter. Key Financial Inc now owns 445 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Hoey Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in Kroger in the first quarter valued at about $29,000. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Kroger in the first quarter valued at about $29,000. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC raised its stake in Kroger by 179.5% in the first quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 531 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 341 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Okabena Investment Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Kroger in the fourth quarter valued at about $34,000. 79.05% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group decreased their price target on Kroger from $60.00 to $55.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. Oppenheimer reduced their price objective on Kroger to $51.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, June 17th. Finally, MKM Partners raised their target price on Kroger from $48.00 to $55.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.22.
Kroger Stock Performance
Kroger (NYSE:KR – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 16th. The company reported $1.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $44.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $44.23 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 31.50% and a net margin of 1.54%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that The Kroger Co. will post 3.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Kroger Increases Dividend
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th were given a dividend of $0.26 per share. This is an increase from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 12th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.15%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.86%.
The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates combination food and drug stores, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouses. 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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