Woodmont Investment Counsel LLC cut its holdings in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 7.6% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 4,835 shares of the company’s stock after selling 400 shares during the quarter. Woodmont Investment Counsel LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $229,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Grimes & Company Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 9.3% during the 1st quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 8,387 shares of the company’s stock worth $481,000 after purchasing an additional 717 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,520,337,000 after purchasing an additional 31,883,878 shares during the period. Natixis grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 428.3% during the 2nd quarter. Natixis now owns 1,846,808 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,447,000 after purchasing an additional 1,497,259 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 78.2% during the 1st quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 347,017 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,929,000 after purchasing an additional 152,302 shares during the period. Finally, Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Altria Group by 15.4% during the 1st quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 54,949 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,156,000 after purchasing an additional 7,339 shares during the period. 63.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
MO traded down $0.79 on Thursday, hitting $40.05. 17,212,207 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 13,720,994. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $40.75 and a fifty-two week high of $66.04. The company has a current ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $45.29 and a 200-day moving average price of $50.66. The stock has a market cap of $77.36 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 0.38.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 1.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.84 per share. This represents a $3.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.39%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Altria Group’s payout ratio is 84.21%.
A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on MO shares. Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price target on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Cowen reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies cut shares of Altria Group from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $64.00 to $49.00 in a research note on Monday, September 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.57.
Altria Group Company Profile
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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