CINCINNATI, June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co.'s (NYSE: KR) Board of Directors today approved a $500 million share repurchase program, replacing the prior authorization which has been exhausted.
During the first quarter of fiscal 2014, Kroger repurchased 25.7 million common shares for a total investment of $1.1 billion. With the company's commitment to achieve a 2.00 – 2.20 net debt to EBITDA ratio by mid-to-late 2015, it is not expected that any material purchases will be made during the remainder of the year. Actual purchases will depend on market conditions.
Quarterly Dividend Declared
Also today, Kroger's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of 16.5 cents per share, to be paid on September 1, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 15, 2014.
Kroger's strong financial position allowed the company to return more than $1.9 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends over the last four quarters. Since January 2000, Kroger has returned approximately $11 billion to shareholders through share repurchases.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,642 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 787 convenience stores, 324 fine jewelry stores, 1,261 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.