Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) Position Boosted by AGF Investments America Inc.

AGF Investments America Inc. lifted its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 2.8% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 60,929 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,648 shares during the period. Altria Group comprises 1.6% of AGF Investments America Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 28th largest holding. AGF Investments America Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $4,351,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. NewSquare Capital LLC lifted 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 period. Balentine LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% during the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC increased its stake in Altria Group by 557.0% during the 3rd quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,543 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management acquired a new position in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $120,000. 62.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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NYSE:MO traded down $0.69 on Friday, reaching $63.85. The stock had a trading volume of 6,456,752 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,053,947. The firm has a market cap of $121,343.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 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. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

The company 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 dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.39%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 82.84%.

In other news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was 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 have sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 over the last 90 days. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

MO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Wells Fargo lifted their price target on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.99.

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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.

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

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