Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 21.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 105,362 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 18,603 shares during the quarter. Altria Group makes up about 1.3% of Ffcm LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Ffcm LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $7,523,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. NewSquare Capital LLC boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Balentine LLC boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ bought a new position in Altria Group in the 3rd quarter worth about $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC boosted its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management bought a new position in Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth about $120,000. 62.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE MO traded down $0.69 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $63.85. 6,456,752 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,053,947. Altria Group Inc has a 1 year low of $59.07 and a 1 year high of $77.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $121,343.66, a P/E ratio of 18.89, a PEG ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 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 firm had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.68 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 EPS for the current year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend 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 of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.
In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were 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 approximately $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $199,488.00. 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 three months. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated 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. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. One 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. Altria Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus 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.
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