Pinebridge Investments L.P. lowered its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 5.6% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 367,321 shares of the company’s stock after selling 21,969 shares during the quarter. Altria Group makes up approximately 0.7% of Pinebridge Investments L.P.’s holdings, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Pinebridge Investments L.P.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $26,230,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Altria Group by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 136,023,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,129,659,000 after acquiring an additional 2,690,270 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Altria Group by 7.6% in 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 in the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its position in Altria Group by 27.6% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 41,157,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,065,018,000 after acquiring an additional 8,914,575 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Altria Group by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 21,970,538 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,393,372,000 after acquiring an additional 1,561,120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Altria Group by 5.3% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 20,802,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,550,057,000 after acquiring an additional 1,040,839 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.54% of the company’s stock.
In related news, CEO Craig A. Johnson sold 14,953 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.59, for a total transaction of $995,720.27. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 64,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,315,631.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.34, for a total transaction 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 worth $1,821,707 in the last three months. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.
MO has been the subject of several research reports. Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Vetr cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.65 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $70.04 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo raised their price objective on shares of Altria Group from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Altria Group has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $75.14.
Altria Group stock opened at $60.00 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $116,915.63, a PE ratio of 18.15, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.31. Altria Group Inc has a one year low of $59.83 and a one year high of $77.79.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $4.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.68 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Altria Group declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.67%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.63%.
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About Altria Group
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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