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 position in Altria Group by 0.6% during the second quarter. Walter & Keenan Financial Consulting Co. MI ADV now owns 23,699 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,765,000 after buying an additional 136 shares during the period. 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.
A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr raised shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.29 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, December 28th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $62.00 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, February 5th. 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 research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.66.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The firm’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.68 EPS. research analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed 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 represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.23%. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is 74.16%.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total transaction of $216,153.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock worth $1,821,707 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
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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