First Trust Advisors LP reduced its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 12.6% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 1,301,586 shares of the company’s stock after selling 187,962 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $92,946,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 4,734.7% in the 3rd quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 106,530 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 3rd quarter worth $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 557.0% in the 3rd quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,543 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth $120,000. 62.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Berenberg Bank upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr lowered Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.65 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Jefferies Group upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo raised their price target on Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.14.
In other Altria Group news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) opened at $62.48 on Tuesday. 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 firm has a market capitalization of $120,089.37, a PE ratio of 11.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.63. Altria Group Inc has a twelve month low of $60.01 and a twelve month 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 for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.68 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.48%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 52.63%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
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Altria Group Profile
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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