BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Defensive company by 4.45% to 43.69 million shares with purchase of 1.86 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 5.62% valued currently at $1.52 billion. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.75 million to 42.35 million shares. And Renaissance Technologies LLC has lifted its position by 102.11% or 13.24 million shares – to 26.21 million shares.
With over 6.99 million The Kroger Co. (KR) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $35.30 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $246.58 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -1.70% and its price on 08/28/20 lost nearly -2.38%. Currently, there are 780.00M common shares owned by the public and among those 772.89M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 26 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for KR have a consensus price objective of $36.38. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $42.00 and a low of $26.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the The Kroger Co. stock is 2.40 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 2.54% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -35.77% over that period. But an upside of 15.95% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $36.50.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 185 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 72 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 1,090,442 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 113 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 933,161 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in The Kroger Co. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 21.22 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $738.34 million. The company sold 60986.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.73% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 97834.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 15.21 million shares valued at over $529.25 million and representing 1.96% of the shares outstanding. SPDR S&P 500 ETF bought 17064.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 8.53 million shares at a value of $296.85 million. SPDR S&P 500 ETF now owns shares totaling to 1.10% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) opened at $36.21, up $0.05 from a prior closing price of $36.16. However, the script later closed the day at $35.30, down -2.38%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -1.70% and 8.65% over the past three months. KR shares are trading 21.77% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 49.13% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $23.02 and touched a high of $36.88 over the same period. Currently, 6.99 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 9.32 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -0.49%, 2.65%, and 13.28% respectively.
Institutional ownership of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) shares accounts for 85.20% of the company’s 780.00M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 40.57%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 43.56% and 2.15% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $28.13B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.32. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 13.44, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $2.63. The company has a PEG of 2.17 and a Quick Ratio of 0.40 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.44. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.91% over the week and 1.88% over the month.
Analysts forecast that The Kroger Co. (KR) will achieve an EPS of $0.5 for the current quarter, $0.53 for the next quarter and $2.59 for 2022. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.47 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.61. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.44 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -45.80%, and -8.86% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 6.19% over the next five years, compared to 3.20% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 26 brokerage firm advisors rate The Kroger Co. (KR) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.40. Specifically, 10 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 13 of the 26 advise that investors “hold,” and 1 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the KR, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Credit Suisse stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on August 06, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $35. MKM Partners coverage for the The Kroger Co. (KR) stock in a research note released on July 30, 2020 offered a Neutral rating with a price target of $40. Goldman was of a view on July 21, 2020 that the stock is Neutral, while Citigroup gave the stock Neutral rating on April 15, 2020, issuing a price target of $32. Wolfe Research on their part issued Outperform rating on March 31, 2020.