CINCINNATI, March 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co.'s (NYSE: KR) Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of 12.5¢ per share to be paid on June 1, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 15, 2018.
Kroger today also announced an incremental $1 billion share repurchase program, supplementing the current authorization, which had approximately $76 million remaining as of March 13, 2018.
"Kroger's share repurchase authorization reflects our Board of Directors' confidence in Restock Kroger and our ability to generate long-term value for shareholders," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006. Over the last four quarters, Kroger has returned more than $2.1 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends combined."
Under the repurchase program, Kroger is authorized to repurchase its outstanding common shares from time to time in open market or privately-negotiated transactions, including accelerated share repurchase transactions, block trades, or pursuant to trading plans intended to comply with SEC Rule 10b5-1. The share repurchase program has no expiration date but may be suspended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time.
The company expects, subject to board approval, to have an increasing dividend over time.
Kroger's financial strategy is to use its free cash flow to drive growth while also maintaining its current investment grade debt rating and returning capital to shareholders. The company continually balances the use of its cash flow to achieve these goals.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human SpiritTM. We are nearly half a million associates who serve nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of the company. These statements are based on management's assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statements are indicated by the words "expects," and "strategy." Our ability to continue to repurchase shares, fund dividends, and increase our dividend over time will be affected by our ability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated and our ability to generate expected operating results. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We assume no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger's reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.