Kroger in new $1 billion stock buyback

Marianne Wilson
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Kroger unveiled a new $1 billion stock buyback program.

The board of Kroger Co. has authorized a new stock repurchase program.

The supermarket giant announced a new $1 billion stock repurchase program. It replaces the current program, which had about $157 million remaining as of Dec. 29.

In its most recently completed third quarter, Kroger’s total sales rose 7.4% to $31.86 billion, beating analysts' estimates. Adjusted third-quarter earnings of $0.78 per share beat Street estimates of $0.66 per share.

“We are customer-obsessed and focused on leading with fresh and accelerating with digital, which is building momentum in our business and will drive Kroger's long-term success," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Kroger's share repurchase authorization reflects our board of directors' confidence in the strength of our free cash flow and our ability to deliver consistently strong and attractive total shareholder returns."

The new program represents roughly 3% of Kroger's market capitalization of about $32.87 billion as of the company’s stock closing price on Dec. 29, according to Marketwatch.

Kroger said it continues to generate strong free cash flow and remains committed to investing in the business to drive long-term sustainable net earnings growth, maintaining its current investment grade debt rating, and returning excess free cash flow to shareholders via share repurchase and a growing dividend over time.

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