Securian Asset Management Inc Increases Position in Kroger Co (KR)

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Securian Asset Management Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 1.2% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 81,633 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 940 shares during the quarter. Securian Asset Management Inc’s holdings in Kroger were worth $2,008,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. World Asset Management Inc boosted its holdings in Kroger by 29.8% in the 1st quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 74,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,828,000 after purchasing an additional 17,047 shares during the last quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. boosted its holdings in Kroger by 2.8% in the 1st quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 4,921,485 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,069,000 after purchasing an additional 132,585 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its holdings in Kroger by 11.8% in the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 7,469,721 shares of the company’s stock valued at $183,753,000 after purchasing an additional 788,435 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. boosted its holdings in Kroger by 114.3% in the 1st quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 325,091 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,997,000 after purchasing an additional 173,372 shares during the last quarter. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Kroger by 3.5% in the 1st quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 40,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $985,000 after purchasing an additional 1,351 shares during the last quarter. 82.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other Kroger news, EVP Christopher T. Hjelm sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.80, for a total value of $412,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 282,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,286,668.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Christine S. Wheatley sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.21, for a total transaction of $37,815.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 126,054 shares in the company, valued at $3,177,821.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 97,500 shares of company stock worth $2,412,215. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Kroger stock opened at $25.78 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $20.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.64. Kroger Co has a 52-week low of $23.52 and a 52-week high of $32.74. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). Kroger had a net margin of 2.57% and a return on equity of 23.50%. The firm had revenue of $28.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.38 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Kroger Co will post 2.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be given a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.54%.

KR has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Kroger from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, March 8th. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on shares of Kroger in a report on Thursday, February 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $28.18 price objective on the stock. Finally, Pivotal Research restated a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective (down from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a report on Friday, March 8th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.33.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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