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Kroger (KR) - Get Free Report  shares slipped Thursday after Jefferies downgraded the supermarket giant to hold from buy, forecasting slowing growth in 2020.

A team led by analyst Christopher Mandeville cut its price target on the Cincinnati chain to $26 from $29. 

Kroger's stock on Thursday fell 2.8% to $23.84.

While the stock has risen 18% from July, Mandeville sees nothing that will significantly drive comparable-sales growth in fiscal 2020. 

"We're hard-pressed to think of what management can say at its Nov. 4 Investor Day to excite us," the report said.

Jefferies is particularly critical of Kroger's $247 million deal last year to snap up a 5% stake in online British grocer Ocado Group, arguing it has yet to yield greater efficiency or lower pricing, despite the promise of automated warehouses.

The pact with Ocado "is a poor and significant long-term-capital-allocation misstep when compared to microfulfillment," the analysts at Jefferies wrote.