Kroger stock falls after BofA analyst turns bearish, about a week ahead of earnings report
Shares of Kroger Co. (KR) 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 (XLP) has slipped 2.0% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.4%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 23, 2021 13:11 ET (18:11 GMT)
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