Eastern Bank reduced its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 13.8% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 4,975 shares of the company’s stock after selling 796 shares during the period. Eastern Bank’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $355,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC grew its holdings in Altria Group by 93.2% during the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC now owns 13,699 shares of the company’s stock worth $980,000 after acquiring an additional 6,608 shares during the period. First Manhattan Co. grew its holdings in Altria Group by 22.8% during 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 period. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC grew its holdings in Altria Group by 59.0% during the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 59,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,274,000 after acquiring an additional 22,215 shares during the period. Town & Country Bank & Trust CO dba First Bankers Trust CO grew its holdings in Altria Group by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Town & Country Bank & Trust CO dba First Bankers Trust CO now owns 52,582 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,755,000 after acquiring an additional 1,269 shares during the period. Finally, TRUE Private Wealth Advisors grew its holdings in Altria Group by 23.9% during the fourth quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors now owns 18,017 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,298,000 after acquiring an additional 3,471 shares during the period. 62.61% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Altria Group Inc (NYSE MO) opened at $65.46 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $124,910.11, a PE ratio of 19.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.53. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $60.01 and a 12 month high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31.
Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Altria Group news, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, February 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their target price on Altria Group from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.66.
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Altria Group Profile
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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