Kroger shares close lower on Friday, company’s full-year forecasts on comparable sales and earnings top analyst estimates

Kroger Company’s (KR) full-year forecasts on comparable sales and earnings, issued last Friday, outstripped Wall Street estimates, since the coronavirus pandemic has prompted consumers to order more from their homes.

Kroger Co’s online sales soared 127% year-on-year during the fiscal second quarter ended August 15th, as shoppers have been ordering a variety of items online since the start of the pandemic.

Shares of Kroger Company closed lower for a second consecutive trading session in New York on Friday. The stock went down 1.07% ($0.37) to $34.37, after touching an intraday low at $33.80, or a price level not seen since July 20th ($33.62).

Shares of Kroger Company have risen 18.56% so far in 2020 compared with a 3.41% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Kroger’s stock went up 5.42%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

“As we talk to other companies across America, we believe return to work will look very different, with many employees working part of the week from home,” Kroger’s Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen was quoted as saying by Reuters. “2021 will be even stronger than we previously anticipated.”

The supermarket chain said it projected full-year comparable sales growth of over 13% and full-year earnings within the range of $3.20 to $3.30 per share. In comparison, analysts on average had expected comparable sales growth of 10.15% and earnings of $2.90 per share for the full year.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 24 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Kroger Company’s stock price, have a median target of $37.00, with a high estimate of $43.00 and a low estimate of $26.00. The median estimate represents a 7.65% upside compared to the closing price of $34.37 on September 11th.

The same media also reported that at least 13 out of 26 surveyed investment analysts had rated Kroger Company’s stock as “Hold”, while 10 – as “Buy”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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