Raymond James Trust N.A. lifted its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 4.3% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 116,319 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 4,845 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $8,306,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,129,659,000 after purchasing an additional 2,690,270 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,496,859,000 after acquiring an additional 8,969,677 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 27.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,065,018,000 after acquiring an additional 8,914,575 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,970,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,393,372,000 after acquiring an additional 1,561,120 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Altria Group by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,802,163 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,550,057,000 after buying an additional 1,040,839 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.77% of the company’s stock.
MO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective (up from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.29 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies increased their price target on shares of Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $74.07.
In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total value of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) traded down $1.63 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $63.80. 5,874,709 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,011,630. Altria Group Inc has a 1 year low of $60.01 and a 1 year high of $77.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $124,570.00, a PE ratio of 17.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.63.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.68 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.39%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 74.16%.
Altria Group announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
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About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include smokeable products, smokeless products and wine. The Company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc (PM USA), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States; John Middleton Co (Middleton), which is engaged in the manufacture and sale of machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which, through its subsidiaries, including U.S.
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