Kroger (NYSE:KR) Board of Directors Announces Share Buyback Program

Kroger (NYSE:KR) declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program, which permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares on Thursday, March 15th. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on KR. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Loop Capital set a $25.00 price objective on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kroger from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, March 2nd. Stephens set a $29.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Bank of America decreased their target price on shares of Kroger from $33.00 to $28.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 9th. Seventeen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.14.

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Shares of KR stock traded up $0.12 on Thursday, reaching $23.60. 7,758,387 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,845,099. The stock has a market capitalization of $20,676.75, a P/E ratio of 11.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a quick ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74. Kroger has a 1 year low of $19.69 and a 1 year high of $31.45.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63. The business had revenue of $31.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.81 billion. Kroger had a net margin of 1.55% and a return on equity of 29.27%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.53 earnings per share. analysts expect that Kroger will post 2.06 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.12%. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.51%.

In related news, VP Todd A. Foley sold 3,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.43, for a total transaction of $92,834.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $763,999.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.64, for a total transaction of $245,120.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 251,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,714,661.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 62,800 shares of company stock valued at $1,888,824 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Kroger

The Kroger Co, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer in the United States. It also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates retail food and drug stores, 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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