Investors Sell Shares of Altria Group (MO) on Strength (MO)

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Investors sold shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) on strength during trading on Wednesday. $94.76 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $162.74 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $67.98 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Altria Group had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Altria Group traded up $0.38 for the day and closed at $56.13

MO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Cowen cut shares of Altria Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. TheStreet cut shares of Altria Group from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $65.86.

The company has a market cap of $105.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.24, a PEG ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.09 and a current ratio of 0.20.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.95. Altria Group had a net margin of 27.45% and a return on equity of 49.05%. The firm had revenue of $4.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.81 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Altria Group Inc will post 4.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 22nd. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.20%.

In other Altria Group news, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 1,352 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $52.11 per share, with a total value of $70,452.72. Following the transaction, the director now owns 39,660 shares in the company, valued at $2,066,682.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Ivan S. Feldman sold 6,802 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.18, for a total transaction of $348,126.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MO. Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Clean Yield Group purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Altria Group by 627.6% during the 4th quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 615 shares during the last quarter. Clarfeld Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $44,000. Finally, Sontag Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $50,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.

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Altria Group Company Profile (NYSE:MO)

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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