First Trust Advisors LP lowered its holdings in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 29.8% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,497,348 shares of the company’s stock after selling 636,922 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Kroger were worth $41,102,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of KR. Sanders Capital LLC acquired a new position in Kroger in the fourth quarter worth $293,538,000. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership bought a new stake in shares of Kroger during the third quarter worth $119,454,000. Minneapolis Portfolio Management Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter worth $49,450,000. LSV Asset Management raised its position in shares of Kroger by 11.5% during the fourth quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 14,112,947 shares of the company’s stock worth $387,400,000 after acquiring an additional 1,459,907 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kopernik Global Investors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Kroger during the third quarter worth $22,727,000. 79.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Kroger Co (KR) opened at $28.69 on Monday. Kroger Co has a fifty-two week low of $19.69 and a fifty-two week high of $34.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $25,286.27, a PE ratio of 14.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.67 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.11.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.74%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 29.76%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Kroger from $28.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine downgraded Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $31.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Stephens set a $29.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $26.98 to $33.00 in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Seventeen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.52.
In other Kroger news, VP Carin L. Fike sold 1,538 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.61, for a total value of $39,388.18. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 25,956 shares in the company, valued at $664,733.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 16,530 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.00, for a total value of $446,310.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 243,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,582,168. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 117,868 shares of company stock valued at $3,403,416 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.
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.
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