Voya Investment Management LLC Grows Position in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR)

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Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 23.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 385,952 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 73,268 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Kroger were worth $10,981,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in Kroger in the second quarter valued at $154,021,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Kroger by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 65,465,026 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,862,480,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490,831 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Kroger by 36.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,485,099 shares of the company’s stock valued at $156,053,000 after acquiring an additional 1,465,865 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Kroger in the second quarter valued at $28,575,000. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in Kroger by 6.1% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 15,856,614 shares of the company’s stock valued at $451,120,000 after acquiring an additional 907,367 shares in the last quarter. 78.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:KR traded up $0.18 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $26.92. 8,838,383 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,542,735. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65. Kroger Co has a 52 week low of $20.25 and a 52 week high of $32.74. The firm has a market cap of $23.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.92.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 13th. The company reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.03. Kroger had a net margin of 3.05% and a return on equity of 28.05%. The company had revenue of $27.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.95 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.39 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Kroger Co will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.45%.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on KR. Pivotal Research cut shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $30.00 to $31.00 in a report on Monday, June 25th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Kroger from $26.50 to $28.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price target on shares of Kroger from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 10th. Northcoast Research restated a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of Kroger in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Kroger in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.16.

In other news, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 13,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.43, for a total value of $369,590.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 101,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,876,291.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Erin S. Sharp sold 25,314 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total transaction of $734,106.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 49,575 shares of company stock valued at $1,414,369 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Kroger 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.

Further Reading: NASDAQ

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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