Wayne Hummer Investments L.L.C. increased its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 4.6% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 18,798 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 830 shares during the quarter. Wayne Hummer Investments L.L.C.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,342,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Balentine LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 32.4% in the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the fourth quarter worth about $120,000. Oak Point Wealth Management bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the fourth quarter worth about $120,000. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ bought a new position in shares of Altria Group in the third quarter worth about $114,000. Finally, Northwest Investment Counselors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 557.0% in the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after acquiring an additional 1,543 shares during the last quarter. 62.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MO. Vetr upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.29 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, December 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Altria Group in a report on Monday, February 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Altria Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.99.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 39.97% and a return on equity of 50.01%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.39%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This is an increase from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.
Altria Group announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Altria Group news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction of $199,488.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP James E. Dillard III sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.13, for a total transaction of $410,345.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group Company 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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