Kroger Stock May Have More Room to Run

The stock is up over 38% year-over-year

Digital Content Manager
Oct 15, 2020 at 2:52 PM
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The shares of Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) are up 0.5% at $34.01 this afternoon, despite just yesterday getting a a downgrade to "equal-weight" from "overweight" and price-target cut to $34 from $38 at Wells Fargo. And while the grocery store giant has cooled off from its nearly four-year, Sept. 3 high of $37.72, the security is still up 38.5% year-over-year. Even better news is that Kroger stock's latest pullback has it near a historically bullish trendline, which could help the security surge even higher in the coming weeks. 

More specifically, KR just came within one standard deviation of its 160-day moving average, after spending the last few weeks above the trendline. According to data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, four similar signals have occurred during the past three years. Kroger stock enjoyed positive returns one month after each signal, averaging a roughly 10.5% gain. From the equity's current perch, a move of similar magnitude would put the KR just above the $37 mark -- a chip-shot from its nearly four-year peak.

KR 160

The  majority of analysts covering KR are bearish, meaning there is still plenty of room for upgrades going forward, which could propel the equity even higher. Of the 16 in coverage, 11 carry a tepid "hold" or worse rating.

A short squeeze could create even more tailwinds for the security. Short interest is up 10.5% in the last two reporting periods, and the 63.08 million shares sold short make up 8.2% of the stock's available float. In other words, it would take almost two weeks to buy back these bearish bets, at KR's average pace of trading. 

For those wanting to take advantage of Kroger stock's next leg higher, options may be an interesting play. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 30% sits higher than just 12% of readings in its annual range, suggesting short-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations.


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