Strs Ohio lessened its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 4.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,030,378 shares of the company’s stock after selling 49,746 shares during the period. Strs Ohio owned 0.05% of Altria Group worth $73,579,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,121,177 shares of the company’s stock worth $679,255,000 after acquiring an additional 330,687 shares in the last quarter. Walter & Keenan Financial Consulting Co. MI ADV grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Walter & Keenan Financial Consulting Co. MI ADV now owns 23,699 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,765,000 after acquiring an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 34.8% during the second quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC now owns 9,301 shares of the company’s stock valued at $693,000 after buying an additional 2,401 shares during the period. Boston Partners grew its position in Altria Group by 63.1% during the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 548,732 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,864,000 after buying an additional 212,254 shares during the period. Finally, Partnervest Advisory Services LLC grew its position in Altria Group by 9.8% during the second quarter. Partnervest Advisory Services LLC now owns 12,444 shares of the company’s stock valued at $927,000 after buying an additional 1,114 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 62.77% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Jefferies Group raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.66.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be issued a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.23%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 74.16%.
Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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