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Kroger Co.
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Banking on a Strong Consumer

  • Banking on a Strong Consumer Banking on a Strong Consumer 9:17
3:08 a.m. Dec. 30, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Kroger stock rises after new $1 billion stock buyback program authorizedShares of Kroger Co. rose 0.9% in premarket trading Thursday, putting them on track for a fourth-straight gain, after the supermarket operator announced a new $1 billions stock repurchase program. The company said the new program replaces the current program, which had about $157 million remaining. The new program represents roughly 3% of Kroger's market capitalization of about $32.87 billion as of Wednesday's stock closing price. "Kroger's share repurchase authorization reflects our board of directors' confidence in the strength of our free cash flow and our ability to deliver consistently strong and attractive total shareholder returns," said Chief Executive Rodney McMullen. The stock has rallied 40.8% this year, while the S&P 500 advanced 27.6%.
3:18 a.m. Dec. 2, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger beat expectations as shoppers continue to dine at homeKroger Co. stock jumped 6.3% in Thursday premarket trading after the grocer reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations. Net income totaled $483 million, or 64 cents per share, down from $631 million, or 80 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of 78 cents beat the FactSet consensus for 67 cents. Sales of $31.86 billion rose from $29.72 billion the previous year, and also beat the FactSet consensus of $31.16 billion. Identical sales, excluding fuel, rose 3.1%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for a 0.7% increase. Chief Financial Officer Gary Millerchip said in a statement that the grocer is seeing sustained dine-at-home trends. Kroger expects full-year adjusted EPS of $3.40 to $3.50, ahead of the FactSet consensus for EPS of $3.36. Kroger stock has rallied 26.6% for the year to date outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 20.2% for the period.
6:36 a.m. Nov. 5, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger confirms news of the grocer accepting Bitcoin Cash was 'fraudulent'Kroger Co. confirmed that an early Friday news release pushed out on PR Newswire saying the company would accept Bitcoin Cash in the coming weeks was "fraudulent." The release, which included details about the fake program and false statements from Kroger executives, has since been removed from the Kroger website. "This morning a press release was fraudulently issued claiming to be The Kroger Co. that falsely stated the organization will begin to accept Bitcoin Cash. This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded," the company said in a statement. Kroger stock has gained 36.7% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 24.6% for the period.
6:43 a.m. Oct. 13, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger comes to the northeast with a hi-tech customer fulfillment center offering delivery serviceKroger Co. has announced its entry into the northeast market with a customer fulfillment center powered by Ocado Group rather than a grocery store. The facility will offer next-day and same-day delivery. The two companies launched their first hi-tech facility in the U.S. . "Kroger's growing seamless ecosystem continues to scale, and we're committed to doubling both our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023 and Kroger Delivery will help us reach this target," said Kroger Chief Executive Rodney McMullen in a statement. Kroger is also adding two customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) in California, and entering the South Florida market with two smaller facilities. "We have a pipeline of sites in development across the U.S., with several scheduled to open next year, and we're excited to continue delivering the Kroger experience to more doorsteps," said Gabriel Arreaga, Kroger's senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, also in a statement. Kroger stock has gained 24.7% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 15.5% for the period.
1:15 a.m. Oct. 6, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Kroger to hire 20,000 associates for the holiday season at Oct. 13 event The Kroger Co. said Wednesday it is planning to hire 20,000 associates for the holiday season at an event planned for Oct. 13. The company will hire for retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, supply chain, merchandising, logistics, corporate, and pharmacy and healthcare roles using virtual and on-site interviews scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. ET on that day. Shares were down 0.6% premarket but have gained 26% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 15.7%.
2:18 a.m. Sept. 14, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger partners with Instacart for nationwide "Kroger Delivery Now" serviceKroger Co. announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Instacart to launch "Kroger Delivery Now," offering groceries and other essentials delivered in 30 minutes. The service offers more than 25,000 items and reaches as many as 50 million homes. "Last year, Kroger achieved more than $10 billion in e-commerce sales, and we're committed to doubling both our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023 and expect Kroger Delivery Now will help us reach that target," said Kroger Chief Executive Rodney McMullen in a statement. Kroger's portfolio of grocery store chains includes the namesake, Ralphs, Fred Meyer and King Soopers. Kroger and Instacart first partnered in 2017. Kroger reported that beat expectations on Friday. Kroger shares have run up 35% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 19% for the period.
3:21 a.m. Sept. 10, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger raises full-year adjusted earnings guidanceKroger Co. reported second-quarter net income totaling $467 million, or 61 cents per share, down from $819 million, or $1.03 per share last year. Adjusted EPS of 80 cents beat the FactSet consensus for 64 cents. Sales of $31.68 billion were up from $30.49 billion last year and also ahead of the FactSet consensus for $30.64 billion. Digital sales more than doubled, up 114%. Identical sales excluding fuel fell 0.6%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for a 3.2% decline. On a two-year stack, identical sales were up 14%. Kroger raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to $3.25 to $3.35, up from of $2.95 to $3.10. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $3.09. Kroger shares fell 1.4% in Friday premarket trading, but have gained 45.3% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has run up 19.6% for 2021 so far.
5:41 a.m. Aug. 5, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger partners with Lyft for discount COVID vaccine ridesKroger Co. has partnered with Lyft Inc. to offer discounted rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Customers in certain markets can go to the Kroger website where they will receive a code that will provide $12 per ride and make an appointment for a Kroger pharmacy or The Little Clinic location. The offer is available in locations across 30 states and Washington D.C. Kroger stock has gained 32.5% for the year to date, outpacing the S&P 500 index , which is up 17.6% for the period.
5:20 a.m. Aug. 5, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger adds Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to the boardKroger Co. has announced the addition of Elaine Chao to the company's board. Chao served as secretary of transportation under President Trump. She handed in her letter of resignation the day after the January 6 insurrection. She was also secretary of labor during the George W. Bush administration and is spouse to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Kroger's proactive board refreshment strategy ensures the organization benefits from the unique expertise and perspective of a diverse board of directors," Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chief executive, said in a statement. Kroger stock has rallied 32.4% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 17.7% for the period.
4:50 a.m. July 14, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Walmart to add bots to 25 distribution centers over the next few yearsWalmart Inc. said Wednesday that it has partnered with robotics company Symbotic to automate 25 regional distribution centers across the country over the next several years. Upgrades include the addition of "high-speed mobile bots" and "high-speed palletizing robotics" that will get items on shelves more quickly and keep down out-of-stocks, among other benefits. Walmart began working with Symbotic in 2017 when the company optimized a distribution center in Brooksville, Fla. Retailers have taken tech-driven competition to the supply chain, upgrading distribution and fulfillment facilities in order to meet the demands of increased online shopping. Kroger Co. and Ocado Group opened their first hi-tech fulfillment center that also puts bots at the center of the effort to make the facility more efficient. Walmart stock has fallen 2.7% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14.4% for the period.
3:18 a.m. July 2, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger partners with automation specialist Knapp for facility updateKroger Co. said Friday that it has partnered with automation and software specialist Knapp to update its Great Lakes Distribution Center in Delaware, Oh. The facility will also be expanded by 130,000 square feet. The distribution center first opened in 2003 and services 115 stores across Ohio and Michigan. In April, Kroger launched its first facility with U.K.-based robotics and software company Ocado Group PLC in Monroe, Oh. Kroger stock has gained 20% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 15% for the period.
7:06 a.m. June 24, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger raises full-year dividendKroger Co. announced a dividend hike on Thursday, bringing the full-year dividend to 84 cents from 72 cents previously. The next quarterly dividend of 21 cents will be paid on Sept. 1, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 13, 2021. Kroger stock has gained 23.6% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 13.5% for the period.
3:25 a.m. June 17, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger raises full year guidance, announces $1 billion share buyback programKroger Co. reported first-quarter net income totaling $140 million, or 18 cents per share, down from $1.212 billion, or $1.52 per share, last year. Adjusted EPS was $1.19, down from $1.22 last year and ahead of the FactSet consensus for $1.01. Sales totaled $41.30 billion, down from $41.55 billion last year and also ahead of the FactSet consensus for $39.87 billion. Digital sales were up 16%, and have climbed 108% on a two-year stack basis. Identical sales without fuel fell 4.1%. The FactSet consensus was for a 6.6% decline. On a two-year stack, identical sales increased 14.9%. Kroger raised its full year adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $2.95 to $3.10 from $2.75 to $2.95 previously. The FactSet consensus is for $2.84. Kroger also announced a new $1 billion share buyback program after the expiration of the previous authorization last week. Kroger stock slipped 1.4% in Thursday premarket trading, but has rallied 18.2% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is up 12.5% for the period.
3:03 a.m. June 14, 2021 - Barrons.com
Banking on a Strong ConsumerLee Belitsky, chief financial officer for Dick's Sporting Goods, analyzes the outlook for retail in the U.S. Plus, Eric Winograd, senior economist at AllianceBernstein, discusses if today's inflation fears are overblown.
10:55 a.m. June 7, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger aims to hire 10,000 workers at first nationwide 'hybrid' hiring eventKroger Co. has set a goal of 10,000 new hires when it hosts its first nationwide "hybrid" hiring event on Thursday. Taking place both in person and virtually, Kroger is searching for associates to work across e-commerce, pharmacy, operations, and other areas of the business. Kroger chains include the namesake grocer, King Soopers and Ralphs. Kroger's current average hourly wage is $15.50 per hour, and the company says and it plans to invest $350 million to increase the average wage to $16. Kroger stock has gained 22.5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 12.5% for the period.
8:21 a.m. May 19, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger relaxes store mask policy for vaccinated customers and workersKroger Co. said Wednesday that fully vaccinated customers and most fully vaccinated workers will not be required to wear a mask in stores, at distribution centers, and in other facilities starting May 20. Pharmacy and clinic associates will still be required to wear a mask. Non-vaccinated associates will still have to wear a mask, and the grocer is encouraging non-vaccinated customers to do so as well. Enhanced cleaning and social distancing messaging will continue, and the company will continue to offer a $100 incentive to get the vaccine. Kroger joins a , including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. that have relaxed their mask rules in light of the CDC's latest guidelines. Kroger stock is up 14.8% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is up 9.4% for the period.
2:47 a.m. March 31, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger plans to grow with digital, private label brands and fresh foodAhead of its investor event on Wednesday, Kroger Co. reiterated its full-year 2021 guidance for an identical sales decline of 3% to 5% and earnings per share of $2.75 to $2.95. The FactSet consensus is for an identical sales decline of 4% and EPS of $2.80. The grocery retailer outlined plans for shareholder return of 8% to 11% and net earnings growth of 3% to 5% through a number of strategies, including fresh food sales increases, accelerating digital, which the company says is now a growth engine, and wider competitive moats, such as continued innovation in its private label Our Brands. COVID-19 drove a surge in online grocery, with competitor Albertsons Cos. Inc. that it has partnered with Google on a number of digital initiatives. Kroger stock has gained 26.4% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 53.2% for the period.
3:26 a.m. March 11, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger Health to administer 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per weekKroger Co. said Thursday that it will increase its COVID-19 vaccine capabilities to one million doses per week through its pharmacies and clinics, as well as vaccination sites. The first hour of its pharmacy operation will be dedicated to vaccine administration. This "focus hour" will launch in Ohio and expand to other states as vaccine supply allows. Kroger is also planning 100 mass vaccination events nationwide, starting with partnerships in Kentucky and Ohio. Kroger is offering a to its own employees to get the vaccine, and will continue to require masks in where their respective governors have lifted mandates. Kroger shares have gained 15.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has rallied 42.2% for the period.
3:34 a.m. March 4, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger shares rise after earnings beatKroger Co. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $77.0 million, or 10 cents per share, after net income of $327.0 million, or 40 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of 81 cents was ahead of the FactSet consensus of 69 cents. Sales of $30.74 billion were up from $28.89 billion and also ahead of the FactSet consensus for $30.83 billion. Digital sales more than doubled, up 118%. Identical sales excluding fuel were up 10.6%, also ahead of the FactSet consensus for 10.2% growth. Kroger is guiding for 2021 adjusted EPS of $2.75 to $2.95. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $2.69. Kroger stock rose 1% in Thursday premarket trading, and was up 7.4% over the past year. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up 22% for the period.
6:28 a.m. March 3, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Kroger will continue to require masks in Texas and Mississippi storesKroger Co. said Wednesday that it will continue to require shoppers to wear masks at its stores in Texas and Mississippi. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that he is lifting the mask mandate, effective March 10, despite calls from scientists and other politicians that people should still wear a face covering to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Coronavirus has killed more than 42,000 Texans. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also lifting the mask mandate on Tuesday. "The Kroger Family of Companies' most urgent priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores, e-commerce solutions and an efficiently operating supply chain so that our communities have access to fresh food," a Kroger spokesperson said in a statement. Kroger chains include the namesake grocer, Ralphs and King Soopers. "To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies will continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We also continue to advocate to federal, state and local officials to prioritize frontline grocery workers for the vaccine rollout plan, and we will offer a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine." Kroger is also encouraging social distancing and its contactless and low-touch transaction options. Kroger joins including Target Corp. and Macy's Inc. that will also continue to mandate masks. Kroger stock has gained 11.3% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is up 28.3% for the period.
8:11 a.m. Feb. 23, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Kroger stock falls after BofA analyst turns bearish, about a week ahead of earnings reportShares of Kroger Co. slumped 1.2% in afternoon trading Tuesday, after BofA Securities analyst Robert Ohmes turned bearish ahead of the grocers earnings report due out next week. Ohmes downgraded Kroger to underperform from neutral, and slashed its stock price target to $28, which is 15.6% below current levels, from $40. He expects Kroger to report fiscal fourth-quarter same-store sales that beat expectations, given strong sales through the end of January, but expects identical sales to "inflect negatively" starting in early March given the peak COVID-19-related stock piling that occurred a year ago. The FactSet consensus for same-store sales, which are scheduled to be reported on March 4, is for 10.2% growth. Ohmes also sees potential for more aggressive promotions this year to pressure margins, as well as margin risks related to fuel sales given strong fuel profitability a year ago. Ohmes is also concerned that stimulus payments and increased vaccinations "could trigger a substantial boost to services spending," including restaurants, that could hurt sales at food retailers this year. Kroger's stock has edged up 0.5% over the past three months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has slipped 2.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.4%.
2:43 a.m. Feb. 10, 2021 - By Tonya Garcia
Aldi adding 100 stores in the U.S. in 2021German grocer Aldi is expanding in the U.S., with plans to add 100 stores in 2021. The locations will focus on Arizona, Florida, California and the northeast. Aldi is also adding a regional headquarters and distribution center in Loxley, Ala. The facility is the sixth distribution center in the southern U.S., and it will service up to 100 stores in the region, including the Florida Panhandle and Mississippi. There are plans for as many as 35 new stores along the Gulf Coast by 2022. The Loxley facility will create 200 jobs when it opens next year, and have eco-features like LED lights and an environmentally-friendly refrigeration system. Aldi is also adding curbside pickup to 500 stores this year, bringing the total offering the service to more than 1,200. Aldi U.S. has more than 2,000 stores in 37 states. Aldi is expanding at a time when grocery sales and online grocery have accelerated due to COVID-19. Companies like Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. have made enhancements to keep up with demand.
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