Brown Advisory Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Altria (NYSE:MO) by 2.1% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 594,125 shares of the company’s stock after selling 12,966 shares during the quarter. Brown Advisory Inc.’s holdings in Altria were worth $37,026,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Altria during the 4th quarter worth about $120,000. Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Altria during the 4th quarter worth about $134,000. Smart Portfolios LLC acquired a new position in shares of Altria during the 1st quarter worth about $129,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Altria by 125.5% during the 4th quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 2,077 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,000 after purchasing an additional 1,156 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Altria during the 1st quarter worth about $147,000. 63.04% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Altria news, Director Mark Newman bought 5,345 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 30th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at approximately $338,376.18. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Altria in a research note on Monday, March 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective on shares of Altria in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Altria and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $72.08.
Shares of Altria opened at $56.79 on Friday, according to MarketBeat. Altria has a 52 week low of $53.91 and a 52 week high of $74.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $108.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.
Altria (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 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 business had revenue of $4.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.73 EPS. Altria’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Altria will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.
Altria declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.93%. Altria’s payout ratio is presently 82.84%.
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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