Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI Grows Stake in Altria Group Inc (MO)

Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI grew its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 66.1% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 6,137 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,442 shares during the quarter. Schaper Benz & Wise Investment Counsel Inc. WI’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $438,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Balentine LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 4,734.7% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 106,530 shares in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new position in Altria Group during the third quarter worth approximately $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC lifted its position in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $120,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.01% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total value of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Altria Group Inc (MO) opened at $63.34 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $120,860.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.53. Altria Group Inc has a one year low of $60.01 and a one year high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4 EPS for the current year.

Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the company. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised their target price on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.66.

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About Altria Group

Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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