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Are Retail-Wholesale Stocks Lagging The Kroger Co. (KR) This Year?

The Retail-Wholesale group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Kroger (KR) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Retail-Wholesale peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Kroger is a member of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group includes 227 individual stocks and currently holds a Zacks Sector Rank of #7. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Kroger is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for KR's full-year earnings has moved 4.7% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

According to our latest data, KR has moved about 1.8% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, stocks in the Retail-Wholesale group have lost about 23.9% on average. This shows that Kroger is outperforming its peers so far this year.

Another stock in the Retail-Wholesale sector, Penske Automotive (PAG), has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 15.3%.

For Penske Automotive, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 1.1% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Breaking things down more, Kroger is a member of the Retail - Supermarkets industry, which includes 9 individual companies and currently sits at #82 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has gained an average of 5.8% so far this year, so KR is slightly underperforming its industry in this area.

Penske Automotive, however, belongs to the Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry. Currently, this 10-stock industry is ranked #35. The industry has moved -4.2% so far this year.

Going forward, investors interested in Retail-Wholesale stocks should continue to pay close attention to Kroger and Penske Automotive as they could maintain their solid performance.

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Zacks Investment Research