Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. purchased a new position in Altria (NYSE:MO) during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm purchased 2,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $168,000.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Manhattan Co. increased its stake in shares of Altria by 22.8% in the fourth quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,125,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,373,000 after acquiring an additional 208,935 shares during the last quarter. Alley Co LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Alley Co LLC now owns 102,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,355,000 after acquiring an additional 904 shares during the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria in the fourth quarter worth $1,044,000. Naples Global Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 23,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,661,000 after acquiring an additional 1,342 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Virtue Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria in the fourth quarter worth $1,049,000. 63.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Altria stock opened at $55.63 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.65. Altria has a one year low of $53.91 and a one year high of $77.79. The firm has a market cap of $105.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 analysts’ expectations of $4.63 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.73 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Altria will post 4 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Altria announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.03%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 82.84%.
In other news, Director Mark Newman purchased 5,345 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 30th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 6,022 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $338,376.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The shares were 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. 0.11% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Vetr raised shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria in a research report on Thursday, March 15th. 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 issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.42.
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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