Kroger Company (The) (KR) Shares Sold by Pioneer Investment Management Inc.

Pioneer Investment Management Inc. reduced its position in shares of Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR) by 31.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 800,647 shares of the company’s stock after selling 371,567 shares during the period. Pioneer Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Kroger Company (The) were worth $18,671,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 3,334.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 72,026,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,124,067,000 after buying an additional 69,929,316 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 54.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 41,963,267 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,237,497,000 after buying an additional 14,723,540 shares during the last quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $270,002,000. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 15.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,348,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,015,609,000 after buying an additional 9,054,273 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in shares of Kroger Company (The) by 74.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,421,749 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,358,000 after buying an additional 3,589,125 shares during the last quarter. 77.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Kroger Company (KR) opened at 23.57 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.41 and a 200-day moving average of $28.49. The company has a market cap of $21.15 billion, a PE ratio of 14.19 and a beta of 0.76. Kroger Company has a 12-month low of $20.46 and a 12-month high of $36.44.

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

Kroger Company (The) announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 4.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.12%. This is a boost from Kroger Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. Kroger Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 28.92%.

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KR has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Kroger Company (The) in a research report on Friday, May 12th. BMO Capital Markets set a $32.00 target price on Kroger Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $34.00 to $24.00 in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Morgan Stanley lowered Kroger Company (The) from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $40.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Kroger Company (The) from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Eighteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger Company (The) currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.55.

In related news, insider J Michael Schlotman bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The shares were bought at an average price of $22.73 per share, for a total transaction of $45,460.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan M. Phillips sold 6,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.17, for a total transaction of $131,254.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 124,105 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,627,302.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

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.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding KR? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Kroger Company (The) (NYSE:KR).

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

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