Westpac Banking Corp Buys 27,551 Shares of Kroger Co (KR)

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Westpac Banking Corp grew its stake in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 14.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 218,533 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 27,551 shares during the quarter. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Kroger were worth $6,010,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Atlas Brown Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger by 5.0% during the fourth quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. now owns 7,562 shares of the company’s stock worth $208,000 after acquiring an additional 361 shares during the period. O Dell Group LLC lifted its holdings in Kroger by 4.5% during the fourth quarter. O Dell Group LLC now owns 9,094 shares of the company’s stock worth $250,000 after acquiring an additional 389 shares during the period. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. lifted its holdings in Kroger by 0.8% during the fourth quarter. Deane Retirement Strategies Inc. now owns 51,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,417,000 after acquiring an additional 392 shares during the period. Horrell Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Kroger by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Horrell Capital Management Inc. now owns 62,058 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,707,000 after buying an additional 566 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Great Lakes Advisors LLC increased its position in Kroger by 0.6% in the third quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 102,351 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,979,000 after buying an additional 629 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 80.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE KR traded down $0.07 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $28.68. The company had a trading volume of 85,850 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,446,025. Kroger Co has a 1 year low of $22.85 and a 1 year high of $32.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market cap of $22.94 billion, a PE ratio of 14.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.73.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 6th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Kroger had a return on equity of 26.64% and a net margin of 2.99%. The business had revenue of $27.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.64 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.44 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Kroger Co will post 2.14 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 15th will be given a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.95%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 14th. Kroger’s payout ratio is 27.45%.

In other Kroger news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 5,760 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.60, for a total transaction of $170,496.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 262,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,771,776. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 50,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.39, for a total value of $1,369,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 230,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,319,475.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 162,848 shares of company stock valued at $4,605,898. 1.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on Kroger in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $28.18 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Loop Capital set a $30.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Stephens set a $30.00 target price on Kroger and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Kroger from $32.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kroger presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.27.

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Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; multi-department stores provide general merchandise items, such as apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, toys, and fine jewelry; and price impact warehouse stores offer grocery, and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods, and fresh produce items.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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