First Mercantile Trust Co. raised its stake in Altria Group (NYSE:MO) by 126.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 19,830 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 11,059 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,367,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of MO. First PREMIER Bank purchased a new position in Altria Group during the second quarter valued at about $103,000. First Personal Financial Services raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 66.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,603 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 639 shares in the last quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 26.6% in the second quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 1,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 348 shares in the last quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,073 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC raised its position in shares of Altria Group by 4.8% in the second quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 2,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,000 after buying an additional 96 shares in the last quarter. 61.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Altria Group (NYSE:MO) opened at 61.78 on Wednesday. Altria Group has a 1-year low of $55.34 and a 1-year high of $70.15. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $64.76 and a 200 day moving average of $65.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $120.72 billion, a PE ratio of 21.45 and a beta of 0.52.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.01. The business earned $6.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.01 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 22.05% and a return on equity of 198.82%. The company’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.05 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.61 dividend. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.95%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 84.72%.
Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on MO shares. Credit Agricole SA dropped their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $69.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Vetr lowered shares of Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.77 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 1st. Argus set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research report on Monday, September 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.44.
In other news, SVP Charles N. Whitaker sold 11,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.53, for a total value of $731,830.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total transaction of $600,120.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
About Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc is a holding company. 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 large cigars and pipe tobacco, and UST LLC (UST), which through its subsidiaries, including U.S.
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