Kroger (NYSE:KR) Sees Strong Trading Volume on Strong Earnings

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KRGet Rating) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. 159,185 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 97% from the previous session’s volume of 4,925,120 shares.The stock last traded at $49.18 and had previously closed at $48.36.

The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.09. Kroger had a net margin of 1.54% and a return on equity of 31.50%. The business had revenue of $34.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.44 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Kroger Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 12th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.00%. This is a positive change from Kroger’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.86%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their price objective on shares of Kroger from $50.00 to $53.00 in a report on Friday, June 17th. Oppenheimer decreased their price objective on shares of Kroger to $51.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, June 17th. MKM Partners upped their target price on shares of Kroger from $48.00 to $55.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Kroger from $38.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.22.

Institutional Trading of Kroger

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of Kroger by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 268,636 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,719,000 after acquiring an additional 10,021 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its holdings in Kroger by 172.0% during the 2nd quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 60,241 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,851,000 after buying an additional 38,095 shares during the period. M&G Investment Management Ltd. raised its holdings in Kroger by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. M&G Investment Management Ltd. now owns 464,257 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,820,000 after buying an additional 1,728 shares during the period. Prelude Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Kroger during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $613,000. Finally, Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. raised its holdings in Kroger by 262.9% during the 2nd quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 36,205 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,714,000 after buying an additional 26,228 shares during the period. 79.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Kroger Stock Up 7.4 %

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a current ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 0.47. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $47.83 and its 200 day simple moving average is $51.58.

Kroger Company Profile

(Get Rating)

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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