Kroger (NYSE:KR) Upgraded to “Buy” at Pivotal Research

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Pivotal Research upgraded shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Friday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have $26.00 target price on the stock.

“We see a lot of parallels to when Kroger was similarly oversold two years ago based on the massive disruption caused by the Amazon/Whole Foods developments. That sell-off proved to be a useful near-term buying opportunity. We see the same type of valuation anomaly with Kroger today following the extreme disappointment with the recent 1Q19 results. Alternative income streams now a source of cost-free upside – Our thinking around alternative profit streams has evolved. Since the Street doesn’t seem to be giving any credit to these non-traditional growth vehicles, we no longer view alternative streams as a source of earnings risk but rather as a source of free upside for investors. While the core retail operations remain pressured and are set to face more difficult fuel margin comparisons, these headwinds are much better discounted in the stock at this point.”,” Pivotal Research’s analyst commented.

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on KR. ValuEngine cut shares of Kroger from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, June 27th. TheStreet cut shares of Kroger from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Wednesday, June 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kroger from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, May 31st. Bank of America dropped their price objective on shares of Kroger from $37.00 to $30.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 29th. Finally, Guggenheim dropped their price objective on shares of Kroger from $31.00 to $26.00 in a report on Monday, June 24th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $28.61.

Shares of KR stock opened at $21.92 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.16. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.77 billion, a PE ratio of 10.39, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $21.87. Kroger has a fifty-two week low of $20.70 and a fifty-two week high of $32.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, June 20th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $37.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $37.27 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.54% and a return on equity of 21.79%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.73 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Kroger will post 2.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 14th. This is a boost from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Kroger’s payout ratio is 26.54%.

In related news, Director Ronald Sargent acquired 5,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 2nd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $21.49 per share, for a total transaction of $107,450.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 94,660 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,034,243.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Stephen M. Mckinney sold 15,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.05, for a total transaction of $343,980.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 168,070 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,705,943.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 43,600 shares of company stock valued at $955,450 in the last quarter. 1.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. LSV Asset Management lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 1.8% during the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 20,412,468 shares of the company’s stock worth $502,146,000 after buying an additional 361,800 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 13.5% during the 1st quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 13,586,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $334,238,000 after buying an additional 1,620,668 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 7.9% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,008,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $329,733,000 after buying an additional 874,376 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 10,600,232 shares of the company’s stock worth $260,766,000 after buying an additional 124,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 28.1% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,212,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $202,022,000 after buying an additional 1,800,051 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.19% of the company’s stock.

Kroger Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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