Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) Stake Lifted by LS Investment Advisors LLC

LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 17.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 48,069 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,055 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $3,433,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of MO. Brighton Jones LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,619,000. Girard Partners LTD. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 120,297 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,958,000 after buying an additional 7,513 shares during the period. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,609,000. Mirador Capital Partners LP grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. Mirador Capital Partners LP now owns 20,095 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,317,000 after buying an additional 772 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Analysts LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 17,273 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,286,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.57% of the company’s stock.

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Several analysts have recently commented on MO shares. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded 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. Piper Jaffray raised their target price on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $74.99.

NYSE:MO opened at $63.85 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The company has a market capitalization of $120,393.44, a P/E ratio of 18.89, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.62. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $59.07 and a 12 month high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. Altria Group’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.39%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

Altria Group declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 over the last quarter. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Altria Group Company 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.

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

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