Clinton Group Inc. Acquires 39,643 Shares of Altria (MO)

Clinton Group Inc. raised its holdings in Altria (NYSE:MO) by 1,048.5% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 43,424 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 39,643 shares during the period. Clinton Group Inc.’s holdings in Altria were worth $2,466,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the business. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 2.6% in the 4th quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. now owns 30,075 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,148,000 after acquiring an additional 750 shares during the period. Monroe Bank & Trust MI increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 20,923 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,414,000 after acquiring an additional 772 shares during the period. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. now owns 10,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $778,000 after acquiring an additional 780 shares during the period. Covington Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 1.3% in the 4th quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 60,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,313,000 after acquiring an additional 803 shares during the period. Finally, Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Altria by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 31,228 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,230,000 after acquiring an additional 812 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 63.04% of the company’s stock.

In other Altria news, Director Mark Newman acquired 5,345 shares of Altria stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 30th. The stock was bought at an average price of $56.19 per share, for a total transaction of $300,335.55. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,022 shares in the company, valued at approximately $338,376.18. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

MO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Altria from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Altria in a research note on Monday, March 26th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Altria in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price (up previously from $66.13) on shares of Altria in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Altria and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Altria has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $72.08.

Altria opened at $58.29 on Friday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Altria has a twelve month low of $53.91 and a twelve month high of $74.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market cap of $109.07 billion, a PE ratio of 17.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.62.

Altria (NYSE:MO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.02. Altria had a net margin of 41.85% and a return on equity of 49.92%. The company had revenue of $4.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.73 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Altria will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.

Altria declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, May 17th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.80%. Altria’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 82.84%.

About Altria

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Altria (NYSE:MO)

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