State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D grew its position in Altria (NYSE:MO) by 4.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,252,000 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 100,000 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D owned about 0.12% of Altria worth $140,345,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MO. ING Groep NV bought a new position in Altria during the third quarter valued at about $2,131,000. Norinchukin Bank The grew its position in Altria by 2.4% during the third quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 243,480 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,442,000 after buying an additional 5,753 shares during the period. Oakworth Capital Inc. grew its position in Altria by 21.2% during the third quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 14,052 shares of the company’s stock valued at $891,000 after buying an additional 2,461 shares during the period. Park Avenue Securities LLC grew its position in Altria by 25.7% during the third quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC now owns 12,559 shares of the company’s stock valued at $790,000 after buying an additional 2,566 shares during the period. Finally, MUFG Securities EMEA plc bought a new position in Altria during the third quarter valued at about $8,435,000. Institutional investors own 63.05% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Altria opened at $55.54 on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market cap of $105.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.63. Altria has a twelve month low of $53.91 and a twelve month high of $77.79.
Altria (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02. Altria had a net margin of 41.85% and a return on equity of 49.92%. The company had revenue of $4.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. Altria’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Altria will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.04%. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.84%.
In other news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s 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 the SEC website. Also, Director Mark Newman acquired 5,345 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 30th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $56.19 per share, with a total value of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,022 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $338,376.18. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several equities analysts recently weighed in on MO shares. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target on shares of Altria in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Piper Jaffray increased their target price on shares of Altria from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Citigroup lowered shares of Altria from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $75.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, April 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.42.
Altria Company Profile
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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