Blue Granite Capital LLC lessened its stake in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 66.8% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,385 shares of the company’s stock after selling 10,814 shares during the quarter. Blue Granite Capital LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $385,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Granite Springs Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth $335,000. Aristotle Atlantic Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth $291,000. WealthShield LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth $260,000. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Altria Group in the 4th quarter worth $36,109,000. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Altria Group by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 49,101 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,506,000 after purchasing an additional 974 shares in the last quarter. 62.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
NYSE MO opened at $63.85 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $121,343.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62. 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 quick ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.
Altria Group declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis 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 (DPR) is presently 82.84%.
In other Altria Group news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of Altria Group 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. Insiders have sold a total of 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts have commented on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Vetr raised Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $76.87 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Berenberg Bank raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Wells Fargo lifted their price target on Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group raised Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, January 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.99.
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Altria Group 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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