Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is scheduled to release its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets open on Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are $0.41 in earnings per share (EPS) and $26.43 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.43 and $25.07 billion in revenue.
The company was named the top retailer, tied for first place in the overall composite score, in the latest Kantar Retailer PoweRanking. It dethroned last year’s top retailer, Wal-Mart, which had held the spot for more than a decade. The report noted that Kroger is now the country’s largest supermarket chain by revenue, and second-largest general retailer (behind Wal-Mart).
Despite this glowing report, the company has still struggled this year. So far in 2016, Kroger has underperformed the broad markets, with the stock down 22%. Management is taking a longer term perspective and sees these 2016 headwinds as only temporary.
In its most recent earnings report, Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen commented:
We are focused on long-term performance over a three-to-five year horizon. We have the right strategy, the right people, and the financial flexibility to execute our strategy, which allows us to continue investing in our associates and our business and growing market share. By staying on our strategy, we create long-term value for our shareholders.
A few analysts weighed in on Kroger ahead of the earnings report:
- Wells Fargo reiterated an Outperform rating with a $37.50 price target.
- BMO Capital Markets reiterated a Market Perform rating with a $35 price target.
- Barclays reiterated an Equal Weight rating with a $33 price target.
- RBC Capital Markets reiterated a Sector Perform rating with a $37 price target.
- Guggenheim reiterated a Buy rating with a $40 price target.
- Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy rating with a $39 price target.
- Jefferies has a Hold rating with a $33 price target.
- Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating with a $40 price target.
- Citigroup has a Buy rating with a $39 price target.
Shares of Kroger were last seen down 1.8% at $32.51 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $35.91 and a 52-week trading range of $28.71 to $42.75.