Teacher Retirement System of Texas Increases Holdings in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR)

Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its position in Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) by 35.3% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,890,189 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 754,495 shares during the quarter. Kroger accounts for approximately 0.7% of Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ portfolio, making the stock its 20th largest holding. Teacher Retirement System of Texas owned about 0.36% of Kroger worth $79,480,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in KR. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 21,333,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $586,680,000 after purchasing an additional 2,485,028 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $434,000. Aurora Investment Counsel increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Aurora Investment Counsel now owns 57,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,592,000 after purchasing an additional 574 shares in the last quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund bought a new position in shares of Kroger during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $501,000. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its stake in shares of Kroger by 4.2% during the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,874,423 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,546,000 after purchasing an additional 75,399 shares in the last quarter. 82.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on KR. ValuEngine raised shares of Kroger from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Kroger in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $27.00 target price for the company. Scotiabank set a $32.00 target price on shares of Kroger and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 target price (down previously from $31.00) on shares of Kroger in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Kroger from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Kroger currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.33.

In related news, Director Robert D. Beyer sold 80,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.52, for a total value of $1,961,600.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 126,800 shares in the company, valued at $3,109,136. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of KR traded up $0.24 on Friday, hitting $25.78. 4,811,189 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,853,535. The company has a market capitalization of $20.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54. Kroger Co has a one year low of $23.52 and a one year high of $32.74.

Kroger (NYSE:KR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). Kroger had a return on equity of 23.50% and a net margin of 2.57%. The company had revenue of $28.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.38 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.63 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Kroger Co will post 2.23 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. Kroger’s dividend payout ratio is currently 26.54%.

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Kroger Company Profile

The Kroger Co operates as a retailer in the United States. The company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, marketplace stores, and price impact warehouse stores. Its combination food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood, and organic produce; and multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products, and toys.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Kroger (NYSE:KR)

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