Eqis Capital Management Inc. trimmed its position in shares of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 53.4% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 7,078 shares of the company’s stock after selling 8,110 shares during the quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $406,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Country Trust Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 86.9% during the first quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. Clean Yield Group purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Altria Group by 627.6% during the fourth quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 615 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clarfeld Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Altria Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $44,000. 64.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup set a $45.00 target price on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Altria Group from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.53.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by ($0.02). Altria Group had a return on equity of 49.42% and a net margin of 24.87%. The firm had revenue of $4.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.60 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.95 earnings per share. Altria Group’s revenue was down 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Investors of record on Monday, March 25th were issued a $0.80 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 22nd. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.95%. Altria Group’s payout ratio is currently 80.20%.
In related news, Director Nabil Y. Sakkab bought 1,352 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $52.11 per share, for a total transaction of $70,452.72. Following the purchase, the director now owns 39,660 shares in the company, valued at $2,066,682.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Ivan S. Feldman sold 6,802 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were 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 owned by insiders.
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Altria Group Profile
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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