Marshall Wace North America L.P. Purchases Shares of 24,051 Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)

Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new stake in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor acquired 24,051 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,200,000.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Alyeska Investment Group L.P. acquired a new stake in Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,304,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Altria Group by 7.9% in the fourth quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. now owns 7,252 shares of the company’s stock worth $362,000 after acquiring an additional 533 shares during the period. CWS Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $1,440,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter worth $1,399,000. Finally, BEAM Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $316,000. 63.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MO stock opened at $34.37 on Thursday. Altria Group Inc has a 52-week low of $30.95 and a 52-week high of $57.88. The company has a quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.28. The firm has a market cap of $60.17 billion, a P/E ratio of -47.74, a PEG ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.61. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $42.04 and its 200-day simple moving average is $45.73.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 30th. The company reported $1.02 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02. Altria Group had a positive return on equity of 67.74% and a negative net margin of 5.15%. The firm had revenue of $4.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.89 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.95 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 25th will be given a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 9.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 24th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.62%.

Several brokerages have weighed in on MO. Citigroup raised Altria Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 2nd. Deutsche Bank decreased their price objective on Altria Group from $59.00 to $56.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, January 31st. Bank of America lowered their target price on Altria Group from $58.00 to $55.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 4th. ValuEngine raised Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 17th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.39.

Altria Group 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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