The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KRGet Rating) saw a large drop in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 18,780,000 shares, a drop of 9.1% from the August 15th total of 20,670,000 shares. Currently, 2.7% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 5,670,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.3 days.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several analysts have recently commented on KR shares. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Kroger from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their target price on Kroger from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Guggenheim reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 target price on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, June 17th. Oppenheimer decreased their price objective on Kroger to $51.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, MKM Partners lifted their price target on Kroger from $48.00 to $55.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Kroger currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.89.

Kroger Trading Down 1.3 %

NYSE KR opened at $47.28 on Monday. Kroger has a 12 month low of $38.22 and a 12 month high of $62.78. The stock has a market cap of $33.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.37, a P/E/G ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.47. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $47.92 and its 200-day moving average price is $51.64. The company has a current ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30.

Kroger (NYSE:KRGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Friday, September 9th. The company reported $0.90 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $34.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.44 billion. Kroger had a return on equity of 31.72% and a net margin of 1.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.80 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Kroger will post 4.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Kroger Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be issued a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.20%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is 31.61%.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Kroger by 2.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 81,040,589 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,649,299,000 after purchasing an additional 2,062,188 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in Kroger by 1.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 37,777,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,167,277,000 after purchasing an additional 590,838 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 8.7% during the 1st quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,022,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $976,556,000 after buying an additional 1,355,600 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 16,746,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $792,589,000 after buying an additional 318,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger by 9.5% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,522,183 shares of the company’s stock valued at $545,344,000 after buying an additional 1,002,044 shares in the last quarter. 79.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Kroger Company Profile

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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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