Morningstar Investment Services LLC Lowers Position in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR)

Morningstar Investment Services LLC cut its stake in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 7.7% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 8,607 shares of the company’s stock after selling 716 shares during the quarter. Morningstar Investment Services LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $250,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the business. Venturi Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Kroger during the third quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Kroger during the third quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Delta Asset Management LLC TN increased its position in shares of Kroger by 35.8% during the third quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 1,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,000 after acquiring an additional 430 shares in the last quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $43,000. Finally, Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. increased its position in shares of Kroger by 70.7% during the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 1,555 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,000 after acquiring an additional 644 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.80% of the company’s stock.

KR has been the subject of several analyst reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Kroger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 14th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, November 14th. Deutsche Bank reissued a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 price target (up previously from $27.00) on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, December 6th. Evercore ISI raised shares of Kroger from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $33.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, December 12th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $29.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research report on Friday, December 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $27.74.

In related news, SVP Mark C. Tuffin sold 2,600 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.44, for a total transaction of $73,944.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 188,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,355,394.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.34% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of KR traded down $0.23 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $28.13. 13,511,818 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,093,330. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.14. Kroger Co has a 52-week low of $20.70 and a 52-week high of $30.73. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $28.40 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $26.53. The company has a market cap of $23.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.68.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, December 5th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by ($0.01). Kroger had a net margin of 1.31% and a return on equity of 20.32%. The firm had revenue of $27.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.18 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.48 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Kroger Co will post 2.19 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.33%.

About Kroger

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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