Altria Group Inc (MO) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) saw a significant increase in short interest in September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 13,928,232 shares, an increase of 22.5% from the September 15th total of 11,373,796 shares. Currently, 0.7% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 8,333,557 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.7 days.

In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. raised its holdings in Altria Group by 133.3% in the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 65.7% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 557 shares during the period. CKW Financial Group bought a new position in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $109,000. Balentine LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares during the period. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares during the period. 61.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria Group (MO) opened at 64.37 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.43 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.34. The company has a market capitalization of $124.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.49 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 29.87% and a return on equity of 64.56%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.27 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.66 dividend. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MO. BidaskClub lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.99.

WARNING: “Altria Group Inc (MO) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest” was published by The Ledger Gazette and is the property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are reading this report on another publication, it was illegally copied and republished i

In other Altria Group news, CEO Martin J. Barrington sold 15,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.03, for a total transaction of $994,959.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 701,074 shares in the company, valued at $45,590,842.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Dinyar S. Devitre sold 32,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $1,959,040.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.11% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. raised its holdings in Altria Group by 133.3% in the 1st quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the period. Solaris Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 65.7% in the 2nd quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 557 shares during the period. CKW Financial Group bought a new position in Altria Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $109,000. Balentine LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 32.4% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares during the period. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Altria Group by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares during the period. 61.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Altria Group (MO) opened at 64.37 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.43 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.34. The company has a market capitalization of $124.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.49 and a beta of 0.64. Altria Group has a 52 week low of $60.01 and a 52 week high of $77.79.

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $4.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.02 billion. Altria Group had a net margin of 29.87% and a return on equity of 64.56%. The firm’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.81 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Altria Group will post $3.27 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th were issued a $0.66 dividend. This is a boost from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.83%.

Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, July 27th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 0.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MO. BidaskClub lowered Altria Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $74.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective (down from $71.00) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $76.00 price objective on Altria Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.99.

WARNING: “Altria Group Inc (MO) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest” was published by The Ledger Gazette and is the property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are reading this report on another publication, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of United States and international copyright and trademark law. The legal version of this report can be viewed at https://ledgergazette.com/2017/10/20/altria-group-inc-mo-sees-significant-growth-in-short-interest.html.

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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