Verition Fund Management LLC increased its position in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 151.8% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 20,202 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 12,180 shares during the quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,443,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. NewSquare Capital LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 4,734.7% during the third quarter. NewSquare Capital LLC now owns 108,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 106,530 shares during the last quarter. Balentine LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 32.4% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 357 shares during the last quarter. Quantum Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new position in Altria Group during the third quarter valued at $114,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC raised its stake in Altria Group by 557.0% during the third quarter. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,543 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oak Point Wealth Management purchased a new position in Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at $120,000. Institutional investors own 62.57% of the company’s stock.
Altria Group stock opened at $63.95 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $121,324.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.62. Altria Group Inc has a 12 month low of $59.07 and a 12 month 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.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.80 billion. Altria Group had a return on equity of 50.01% and a net margin of 39.97%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.68 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Altria Group Inc will post 4.01 earnings per share for the current year.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 1st that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a $0.70 dividend. This is a positive change from Altria Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.38%. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.84%.
In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 3,200 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction 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 accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Brian W. Quigley sold 3,464 shares of Altria Group stock in a transaction 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. In the last three months, insiders sold 28,117 shares of company stock valued at $1,821,707. Corporate insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Vetr upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $71.45 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Jefferies Group upgraded 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 note on Friday, January 19th. Berenberg Bank upgraded Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $60.01 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria Group in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.53.
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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.
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