Kroger Sees Unusually High Options Volume (KR)

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) saw some unusual options trading on Monday. Investors acquired 25,500 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 957% compared to the typical volume of 2,412 call options.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on KR. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Kroger from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $37.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Northcoast Research cut Kroger from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th. Hilliard Lyons cut Kroger to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $35.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, March 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG set a $35.00 price objective on Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, March 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $36.60.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) traded up 0.77% during trading on Thursday, reaching $30.09. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,624,769 shares. Kroger has a 52 week low of $28.29 and a 52 week high of $37.97. The company has a market capitalization of $27.51 billion, a PE ratio of 14.68 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $29.85 and a 200-day moving average price of $32.04.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 2nd. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.01. Kroger had a return on equity of 31.48% and a net margin of 1.77%. The company earned $27.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.31 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.57 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Kroger will post $2.19 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 11th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.61%. Kroger’s payout ratio is 23.08%.

In related news, Director Susan J. Kropf sold 10,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.90, for a total transaction of $299,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 84,673 shares in the company, valued at $2,531,722.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Todd A. Foley sold 11,000 shares of Kroger stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.53, for a total value of $324,830.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 24,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $709,133.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 25,465 shares of company stock valued at $754,878. 0.85% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of KR. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in Kroger by 4.8% in the first quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 8,496 shares of the company’s stock worth $251,000 after buying an additional 391 shares during the last quarter. Horrell Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Kroger by 0.4% in the first quarter. Horrell Capital Management Inc. now owns 54,520 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,608,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Verde Servicos Internacionais S.A. bought a new stake in Kroger during the first quarter worth $607,000. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in Kroger by 0.8% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 289,081 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,525,000 after buying an additional 2,210 shares during the last quarter. Finally, National Pension Service boosted its stake in Kroger by 7.6% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 729,951 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,315,000 after buying an additional 51,711 shares during the last quarter. 77.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores across the United States. The Company operates through retail operations segment. It also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. Its supermarkets operate under various formats, such as combination food and drug stores (combo stores), multi-department stores, marketplace stores or price impact warehouses.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:KR

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