Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Kroger (KR) Updates FY18 Earnings Guidance

Kroger (KR) Updates FY18 Earnings Guidance

Shares in Kroger jumped after the supermarket chain reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings, driven by improved sales.

Kroger investors seem to be on board with the plan, with the company's stock surging 12.9% after the announcement. The company's revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. This comprises robust core business results and remarkable fuel results, and an incremental contribution of $111 million to the UFCW Consolidated Pension Program in the third quarter.

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A number of research firms recently issued reports on KR.

Kroger, which owns the likes of Ralphs, Harris Teeter and Food 4 Less, lowered prices at its 2,800 outlets across the United States as part of an effort to find new ways to take on rivals such as Wal-Mart, as well as discount retailers Lidl and Aldi. The company has a quick ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.13. The firm owned 6,715,387 shares of the company's stock after acquiring an additional 18,468 shares during the quarter. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kroger from a "sell" rating to a "hold" rating in a report on Monday, February 20th. Kroger Company has a 52 week low of $19.69 and a 52 week high of $36.44.

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Kroger (NYSE KR) opened at $25.86 on Friday. The company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.01. The company now has an average rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $29.10. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a "neutral" rating and set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Kroger in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Telsey Advisory Group upped their target price on Kroger from $24.00 to $28.00 and gave the stock a "market perform" rating in a report on Friday. Kroger had a return on equity of 28.04% and a net margin of 1.32%. In the same period of a year ago, the retailer posted EPS of $0.41 and $26.56 billion in revenue. Kroger presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.06. The business had revenue of $27.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.48 billion. The company is still expecting full-year EPS of $1.74 to $1.79 and adjusted EPS of $2.00 to $2.05.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 11th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.93%.

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Kroger is relatively undervalued even though its price-book ratio of 4 underperforms 67% of global grocery stores. In related news, insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 12,139 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 19th.

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