Altria (MO) Position Lessened by Garde Capital Inc.

Garde Capital Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) by 23.5% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 4,891 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,500 shares during the period. Garde Capital Inc.’s holdings in Altria were worth $349,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Green Square Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Altria by 43.8% during the 4th quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 114,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,247,000 after purchasing an additional 34,883 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Altria by 12.9% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 434,555 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,032,000 after purchasing an additional 49,558 shares during the last quarter. Certified Advisory Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the 4th quarter worth about $2,789,000. D.B. Root & Company LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria during the 4th quarter worth about $1,418,000. Finally, Colonial Trust Advisors increased its position in shares of Altria by 14.8% during the 4th quarter. Colonial Trust Advisors now owns 17,942 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,281,000 after purchasing an additional 2,313 shares during the last quarter. 62.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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A number of brokerages recently commented on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Jefferies Group upgraded Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria in a report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.21.

In related news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. 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 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MO opened at $57.23 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $109,807.94, a PE ratio of 16.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.62. Altria has a 1 year low of $56.08 and a 1 year high of $77.79.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. Altria had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Altria will post 4.01 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from Altria’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.84%.

Altria announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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About Altria

Altria Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States. It offers cigarettes primarily under the Marlboro brand; cigars principally under the Black & Mild brand; and moist smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, and Husky brands.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria (NYSE:MO)

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