Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC cut its holdings in Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 25,828 shares of the company’s stock after selling 318 shares during the period. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC’s holdings in Altria Group were worth $1,223,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of MO. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 68.1% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 78,710,352 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,520,337,000 after acquiring an additional 31,883,878 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 24,928,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,229,235,000 after acquiring an additional 1,908,626 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 93.3% in the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 1,994,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $98,524,000 after acquiring an additional 962,612 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 47.3% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 2,913,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $167,344,000 after acquiring an additional 935,757 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Altria Group by 5.4% in the first quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,216,899 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,046,193,000 after acquiring an additional 926,612 shares during the period. 64.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of equities analysts have issued reports on MO shares. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Altria Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.86 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, July 12th. ValuEngine cut shares of Altria Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Citigroup set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Altria Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Altria Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Altria Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.07.
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.10. Altria Group had a net margin of 25.04% and a return on equity of 51.12%. The company had revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.01 earnings per share. Altria Group’s quarterly revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Altria Group Inc will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 10th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th were given a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.66%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. Altria Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.20%.
Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, July 30th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP W Hildebrandt Surgner, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total transaction of $104,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.11% of the stock is owned by insiders.
About Altria Group
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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