505,652 Shares in Altria Group Inc (MO) Purchased by BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd

BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 505,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $36,109,000. Altria Group makes up 1.0% of BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest holding.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Payden & Rygel boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Payden & Rygel now owns 425,184 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,663,000 after acquiring an additional 16,700 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 23.1% during the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,576,655 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,413,000 after acquiring an additional 296,153 shares during the period. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 2,006,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,646,000 after acquiring an additional 63,217 shares during the period. Bruderman Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 25,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,885,000 after acquiring an additional 727 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Altria Group by 7.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 127,525,988 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,496,859,000 after acquiring an additional 8,969,677 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.57% of the company’s stock.

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In other news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total value of $199,488.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.40, for a total value of $216,153.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on MO. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 target price for the company in a report on Monday, February 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Jefferies Group upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a report on Friday, January 19th. 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. Finally, 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. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.99.

NYSE MO opened at $63.85 on Friday. Altria Group Inc has a fifty-two week low of $59.07 and a fifty-two week high of $77.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The company has a market capitalization of $122,654.98, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.80 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. The business’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.39%. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.84%.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria Group (NYSE:MO)

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