CINCINNATI -- Shares of Kroger Co. here slipped last Thursday after the company's stock was downgraded to "market performer" from "buy" by J.P. Morgan, New York, citing Kroger's decision to cancel participation in two investment conferences. Kroger issued a statement that day explaining that it would no longer participate in investor presentations, field trips and other investor meetings during its "quiet periods," which extend from the day after the company's quarter ends until it reports ...

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