Kroger (NYSE:KR) Upgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Kroger (NYSE:KRGet Rating) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report released on Tuesday, The Fly reports. They currently have $46.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $44.00.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. BNP Paribas upgraded Kroger from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Kroger in a report on Tuesday, December 6th. They issued an outperform rating and a $58.00 price objective on the stock. Northcoast Research cut Kroger from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, October 17th. MKM Partners decreased their price target on Kroger from $50.00 to $47.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 5th. Finally, Exane BNP Paribas upgraded Kroger from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, October 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $53.50.

Kroger Price Performance

NYSE:KR opened at $46.18 on Tuesday. Kroger has a 12 month low of $41.81 and a 12 month high of $62.78. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $46.37 and a two-hundred day moving average of $46.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25. The firm has a market cap of $33.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.79 and a beta of 0.52.

Kroger (NYSE:KRGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 1st. The company reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $34.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.92 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 31.92% and a net margin of 1.61%. Kroger’s quarterly revenue was up 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.78 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Kroger will post 4.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Insider Activity at Kroger

In related news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 5,779 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.72, for a total value of $275,773.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 5,320 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $253,870.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In other Kroger news, SVP Mary Ellen Adcock sold 43,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.27, for a total transaction of $1,903,610.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 135,611 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,003,498.97. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Carin L. Fike sold 5,779 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.72, for a total value of $275,773.88. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 5,320 shares in the company, valued at approximately $253,870.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.35% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Kroger

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in KR. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 42.9% during the second quarter. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 730 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,000 after buying an additional 219 shares during the last quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 1.9% during the first quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 11,571 shares of the company’s stock worth $664,000 after buying an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 9.0% during the third quarter. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,687 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 222 shares during the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 3.4% during the first quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,693 shares of the company’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 222 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Costello Asset Management INC grew its holdings in shares of Kroger by 2.3% during the third quarter. Costello Asset Management INC now owns 10,225 shares of the company’s stock worth $447,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.03% of the company’s stock.

About Kroger

(Get Rating)

The Kroger Co engages in the operation of supermarkets and multi-department stores. Its brands include Big K, Check This Out?, Heritage Farm, Simple Truth, and Simple Truth Organic. The company was founded by Barney Kroger in 1883 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH.

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