MUFG Americas Holdings Corp reduced its stake in Altria (NYSE:MO) by 1.3% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 180,642 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,463 shares during the period. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp’s holdings in Altria were worth $11,258,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Manhattan Co. lifted its holdings in Altria 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 in the last quarter. Alley Co LLC lifted its holdings in Altria by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Alley Co LLC now owns 102,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,355,000 after acquiring an additional 904 shares in the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Altria during the fourth quarter worth about $1,044,000. Naples Global Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Altria by 6.1% in the 4th quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 23,255 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,661,000 after purchasing an additional 1,342 shares during the period. Finally, Virtue Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,049,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.05% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Mark Newman bought 5,345 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $56.19 per share, with a total value of $300,335.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at $338,376.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of Altria stock in a transaction dated 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. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Altria (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.93 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $4.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.63 billion. Altria had a return on equity of 49.92% and a net margin of 41.85%. Altria’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Altria will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.
Altria declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Jefferies Group raised Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Vetr raised Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on Altria in a research note on Monday, March 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price target (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.42.
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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